Pendants are among the oldest recorded types of bodily adornment. Stone, shell, pottery, and more perishable materials were used. Ancient Egyptians commonly wore pendants, some shaped like hieroglyphs. 
Pendants can have several functions, which may be combined: 
Award (i.e., Scouting Ireland Chief Scout's Award, Order of CúChulainn) 
Identification (i.e., religious symbols, sexual symbols, symbols of rock bands) 
Ostentation (i.e., jewels). 
Protection (i.e., amulets, religious symbols) 
Self-affirmation (i.e., initials, names) 
The many specialised types of pendants include lockets which open, often to reveal an image, and pendilia, which hang from larger objects of metalwork.
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