Nubian Gold: Ancient Jewelry from Sudan and Egypt
By Peter Lacovara and Yvonne J. Markowitz
2019, AUC Press, 9-789-777416-782-9. $59.95 hb.
Reviewed by Jane Waldron Grutz on January 15, 2021
For thousands of years, Nubia and Egypt associated gold with the powerful, regenerative powers of the sun. Crafted into exquisite armlets, earrings and pendants, gold both adorned the body and signiﬁed wealth, status and power, while protecting the wearer from harmful forces. “Birth, childhood, battle, pregnancy, illness and death were life experiences fraught with dangers that required divine intervention,” explain the authors. “Adornments even accompanied the dead during their perilous journey to the afterlife.” To create these beautiful ornaments, Nubian and Egyptian craftsmen became experts in the arts of goldsmithing, enameling and stone polishing. Within their rich repertoire were delicate golden chains, swiveling scarab rings, and pendants depicting the symbols of their gods: a ram, for example, stood for the powerful god, Amun. No two ornaments are quite the same, yet as this beautifully illustrated volume shows, each embodies the qualities that make Nubian and Egyptian jewelry some of the most beautiful of the ancient world.