Have you ever noticed that in lots of Egyptian paintings people are wearing bands round their heads? Some seem to look like they are made of gold, some of the ones worn by royalty have snakes or animals at the front. Others have patterns similar to the collars they wear. So what are they? This needed some further investigation.
It turns out that these things are known as circlets, and were popular in ancient Egypt. They were worn by both men and women, and by rich and poor. At first they were simple bands made of woven reeds used to keep long hair in place. Plain linen circlets that were knotted at the back were also popular, and it was fashionable to tuck some lotus blossoms or other flowers into them.
Of course, the rich started to make their circlets more elaborate, and started using gold wire instead or reeds or linen, and gems and beads instead of flowers. Kings and Queens would wear gold circlets mounted with a vulture or a cobra which were symbols of royalty. Have a look at this beautiful one which was found in the tomb of Princess Sit-Hathor Yunet, a sister of the Pharaoh.
(photo: Hanns Ollerman, from Wikimedia Commons)
So inspired by this we decided to make our own version. Here is how we did it:
Make your own Egyptian circlet
You will need:
- some thin card ( a cereal box is ideal)
- gold paint – spray paint in quickest, but other paint will work too.
- small amounts of acrylic paint in other colours
Cut some long strips of the card about 3cm wide and glue them together so they fit snugly round your head.
Cut out a snake shape and bend it round a pencil to make the curves of the cobra. Stick the base of the cobra to the bottom of the circlet. Use a small piece of card to attach the top to the top of the circlet.
Cut out some round circles out of card – a 10p is a good template, but some golden chocolate coin wrappers would be even better if you happen to have any.
Spray all of the card gold, then decorate with the acrylic paint.