-Merce- from Madrid, España, Replica of the funerary mask of Tutankhamun (4888400644), CC BY-SA 2.0
It's well known that the ancient Egyptians practiced ear stretching. In fact as can be clearly seen from his death mask, the most famous Egyptian of them all Tutankhamen had his ears stretched to about 10mm or 12mm. There are no depictions of him actually wearing earrings but there were some large gauge earrings found in his tomb in the 'Valley of the Kings' and one pair is absolutely astounding.
Photo: Erik Hooymans
They feature an elaborate 'duck' design which hangs from 10mm bars. The duck had a special meaning in ancient Egypt, it was evidently associated with all things 'erotic'!
The marvelous blue headed ducks have outstretched wings which form a circle, held in their feet are Egyptian 'shen' signs. In ancient Egypt 'shen' means encircle and the shen ring represented eternal protection The ducks heads are made of translucent blue glass and the wing is enameled. Under the duck are five rearing cobras. What a simply stunning pair of ear hangers and they are over 3000 years old. The quality and craftsmanship are astounding and show that ear weights and hangers were a treasured item of jewellery then.. and still are now.
Ear Hangers Photo (C) CULTNAT, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Ayman Khoury