A woman’s hands
Fragment of a painted mummy shroud, Roman Egypt, late 2nd–3rd century A.D.
This fragment once belonged to a portrait of a woman painted in tempera on a linen shroud that was wrapped around her body before burial. All that remains is a view of her hands, which are ornamented with jewels, including a ring on every finger of her left hand. These rings find parallels in actual objects from this period and offer a poignant reminder that early rings often survive because their owners were sent into the next world with the jewelry they cherished in life. The pinky finger of the left hand wears a key ring, a type first developed in Roman antiquity.