18 June, 23:00

Pectoral and necklace of the pharaoh's daughter: jewelry from the era of Senwosret II

Pectoral and necklace of the pharaoh's daughter: jewelry from the era of Senwosret II
In 1914, archaeological excavations in Lahun, carried out near the pyramid of Pharaoh Senusret II, led to an amazing discovery. In the underground tomb of Princess Sitathoryunet, a collection of jewelry was found, among which a pectoral and a necklace stood out.

The pectoral, found among the jewelry of Princess Sitathoryunet, is a 4.5 x 8.2 cm piece made of gold and inlaid with 372 semi-precious stones, including carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise and garnet. This item was found in a special niche in the tomb, indicating its significance.
The design of the pectoral is replete with symbolism and hieroglyphs, forming a whole message. It depicts gods and symbols, which when translated mean: “The God of the rising sun grants life and power over everything that surrounds the sun for one million one hundred thousand years to King Khakheperra (Senusret II).” This emphasized the divine origin of the pharaoh's power and his eternal reign.

The necklace, also found in the tomb of Sitathoryunet, is 82 cm long, made of gold and inlaid with carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise and green feldspar. This decoration, like the pectoral, demonstrates the high skill of ancient Egyptian jewelers and symbolizes the high status of its owner.
Princess Sitathorunet, whose tomb gave the world these unique items, lived during the Middle Kingdom. The reign of Senusret II is considered peaceful; there is no mention of his campaigns to the south.

The discovered jewelry not only testifies to the princess's wealth and high social status, but also reflects the religious beliefs of the time. The belief in eternal life and the divine origin of the pharaoh was a key element of Egyptian culture, which is reflected in the symbolism of the pectoral.
These decorations are now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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