The Hidden Meanings of Ancient Nubian Jewelry

Pectoral with Isis, Nubian, 538–519 BC. Gold. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Harvard University-Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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Located where extensive trade routes met the Nile River, ancient Nubia was a complex and cosmopolitan region and a major exporter of gold. Over thousands of years, jewelers used gold and other precious materials to create works of astonishing beauty and technical skill. What does this jewelry tell us about Nubian beliefs, tastes, and world view? Denise Doxey, curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, traces the geographical and historical contexts of Nubian jewelry to draw out its hidden meanings and intriguing questions.

Enjoy refreshments and conversation following the talk in the Auditorium lobby.

Visit the exhibition Nubia: Jewels of Ancient Sudan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on view through April 3, 2023. To enhance your visit, listen to a free exhibition audio guide available on the GettyGuide app.

About the Speaker
Denise M. Doxey is the curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Denise received her MPhil from Oxford University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught Egyptology courses at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, and has participated in excavations at Abydos and Saqqara in Egypt. She has authored several books, including Arts of Ancient Nubia and Jewels of Ancient Nubia. She is vice president of the Board of Governors of the American Research Center in Egypt.