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HANDS ON Traditional Crafts at The City of the Dead in Cairo


The oldest known jewellery, a set of beads skilfully made of shells, is 82,000 years old – jewellery ornaments may be more than display of wealth and status, or a mere fancy. Perhaps they reflect some very deeply rooted trait of human nature, present since the dawn of civilisation.


Jewellery made nowadays in Sultan Qaitbey’s area of the cemetery is produced in traditional materials using simple techniques to craft objects for the local market. Many are silver rings with semi-precious stones, traditionally worn by men in Egypt. Other products include rings and earrings for women, chains and pendants. Inspiration comes from both traditional forms of ornament used for centuries in Muslim society, and from ancient Egyptian art of the times of the Pharaohs.

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