The Ancient World

Bracelets, Lapis Lazuli and gold, 940 BCE, 22nd Dynasty Ancient Egypt

"Gold cuff bracelet of Prince Nemareth: the inner side of the smaller segment of this bracelet is inscribed for a man with the Libyan name of Nimlot (also rendered as Nemareth or the like). The external decoration of the bracelet consists of geometric decoration and a figure of a child god. The god is represented in a typical ancient Egyptian manner for a male child: nude, wearing a long sidelock of hair and with a finger to the mouth. That this is not a mere human child, however, is indicated by his crook-shaped scepter of rule, the uraeus on his forehead, and his headdress, which is a lunar crescent and disk. The deity depicted on these bracelets is most probably Harpocrates. Two uraei guard the lunar symbols. Presumably, they represent the protective goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt, which the Egyptians often equated with the ordered universe. And the blue lotus, on several of which the deity squats, is a symbol of creation from the primordial ocean, from which the sun first rose, and of birth and rebirth, presumably because that flower rises above the water when it opens each dawn. The bracelet was once inlaid with lapis lazuli."

The British Museum

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