The Gold Bracelets

    Six bracelets made of thin gold foil were found on the arms of the mummy after the bandages had been removed (or had fallen off.) Ayrton recorded that three were on the upper left arm and that "the remains of three similar bracelets were round the [right] wrist." He described the bracelets as "broad," "very thin," and "of a fragile nature." (ToQT, 9-10. Ayrton also notes the bracelets in PSBA 29 [1907], 280.) His comment that only "remains" of the three on the right wrist were found indicates that these were damaged, perhaps torn or crushed. J. L. Smith's report of the gold bracelets is practically a word-for-word copy of Ayrton's (one suspects that he consulted Ayrton's report when preparing his own version of the KV 55 discovery.) But J. L. Smith adds a single very novel element into his description of the bracelets: he reports that on one of them "were marks of teeth." (TTAA, 63-64, Smith's emphasis.) Martha Bell speculated that insects could have caused some of the damage to objects in KV 55 (JARCE 27 [1990], 132. cf. Maspero, NL, 292), and J. L. Smith's comment may indicate the activity of rodents. The layer of undisturbed tomb chippings above KV 55 indicate that it had been closed at least since the 20'th Dynasty, so any rodent damage would necessarily have occurred prior to this date. Martha Bell comments that the bracelets "were probably very delicate, and may have been difficult to separate from the mummy...while it was still in the tomb." (JARCE 27 [1990], 119.) According to the diary of Emma Andrews, the bracelets (along with the necklace--see below) were not removed with the gold foil sheets, vulture "crown," or bandages of the mummy, and were left in place for the "examination" by the two visiting doctors (JARCE 27 [1990], 119, n. 178.) Daressy did not list the gold foil bracelets in his catalogue of KV 55 objects, and they are presumed to have been stolen.

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