The integration of ancient Egyptian artefacts into modern jewellery: forgery or history?
This thesis analyses a sample of modern jewellery items which incorporate ancient Egyptian artefacts into their construction and concludes that the current classifications of modern and ancient are not sufficient to appropriately discuss them. Difficulty in classifying such 'composite' items has resulted in a lack of academic scrutiny for these important cultural objects. The thesis examines why such objects are made and how they have value attributed to them, and whether they are to be considered authentic ancient artefacts or whether this description constitutes an unusual type of forgery. Utilising case study and discourse analysis techniques, the thesis examines issues of authenticity, forgery, the role of the antiquities market, the western cultural obsession with ancient Egypt, and the effect of modern innovations such as the internet in encouraging the production and sale of such items. Through the examination of these issues the thesis addresses the paucity of research into composite Egyptian jewellery and identifies differences in construction and market philosophy between different examples based on their economic values. The findings of the research suggest that composite Egyptian jewellery presents an academically significant both as authentically ancient artefacts and as a unique category of item in which the ancient and modern historical fields overlap.