Pectoral of King Senusret II.
EGYPTIAN MIDDLE KINGDOM Anonymous
19th c BCE Egyptian Egyptian Middle Kingdom Metalwork
(c. 2124 BCE - 1786 BCE)
1900 BCE-1840 BCE
19th c BCE
Gold w/gems: Lapis lazuli; carnelian; turquoise; garnet
Egyptian Middle Kingdom
This magnificent piece of Egyptian jewelry, known as a "pectoral" or chest piece, shows three guises under which the sun was worshipped by the Egyptians: as the scarab or sun-beetle when it rises in the morning, as the hawk (who had been amalgamated with the god Ra) at noon, and in human shape as Atum in the evening. Each day the sun moved majestically across the sky, but at night he had to ride in a perilous journey through the underworld in a boat. He was reborn each morning, suckled by Hathor, the celestial cow. The sun's constant rebirth was reenacted by the king who was his earthly representative. Each morning the King broke the seal of the shrine which had been fixed there the night before to represent the sun's sojourn beneath the earth and thus, opened the "two doors of the sky" renewing the life of the sun and his own. The king represented the community in its relation to the gods, and the renewal of the king's life guaranteed that of the entire community.
The pectoral, made with gold inset with lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise and garnets, is inscribed with the motto: "The Sun God has granted an eternity of Life to King Senusret II." On either side of the scarab beetle are signs of the ankh, the Egyptian symbol of life which we will see on many Egyptian objects.
Found by Petri in 1914. Motto: The Sun God has granted an eternity of Life to King Senusret II. Jewelry of Princess Sit-Hat-Ur-Yunet. Works like this can be compared to jewelry of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
EGYPTIAN MIDDLE KINGDOM | Pectoral of Senwosret II | Egyptian; Middle Kingdom | Egyptian