Broad Collar, Egypt, New Kingdom, Amarna Period, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Faience. Diam. 31.5 cm (12 3/8 in); Terminals: L. 8.7 cm (3 7/16 in.); W. 2.5 cm (1 in.); Th. 0.6 cm (1/4 in.). Rogers Fund, 1940 (40.2.5). © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This necklace of faience beads, called a broad collar, is a durable version of the elaborate perishable floral collars worn by banquet guests (see 09.184.216). The beads in this example imitate a row of cornflowers (center), three rows of dates (middle), and a row of lotus petals (outside). These rows are joined by strands of small ring beads. The rows end in rectangular terminals adorned with blue lotus blossoms, buds, and petals interspersed with poppy petals and persea fruit. The stringing is modern.
Broad Collar of Wah, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, early reign of Amenemhat I, ca. 1981–1975 B.C. From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Southern Asasif, Tomb of Wah (MMA 1102), Mummy, in wrappings on chest, MMA excavations, 1920. Faience, linen thread. H. 34.5 cm (13 9/16 in.); W. 39 cm (15 3/8 in.), Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1940, 40.3.2. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This broad collar is one of the finest examples of its type from the early Middle Kingdom. It was carefully designed using beads of diminishing lengths to create the curved form. Although a few areas needed reinforcing with modern thread, the stringing is almost entirely original. Known as a wesekh in ancient Egyptian, this type of necklace adorns statues (30.8.57, 30.8.3), coffins (30.3.7, 25.3.182), and participants in banquet and offering scenes (13.183.3, 12.184, 28.3.35) from the Old Kingdom on. The collar is part of a set of funerary jewelry belonging to Wah, the estate manager of Meketre.
Wah's broad collar (40.3.2), anklets and bracelets (40.3.3–40.3.10) were made as funerary ornaments for the burial and were found in the layers of linen wrapping that were closest to the body; the collar had been tied around the neck, and the bracelets and anklets had been laid over the lower arms and legs. They are all made of a ceramic material called Egyptian faience. Beaded jewelry sets of this type are illustrated in the object friezes that decorate many Middle Kingdom coffins, and fragmentary examples have been found in numerous tombs of the period.
An aegis of Isis, Egypt, Late Period, Dynasty 26–30, 664–343 B.C. Bronze or copper alloy, green glass, blue glass. H. 21 × W. 14 × D. 4.7 cm (8 1/4 × 5 1/2 × 1 7/8 in.). Gift of Ethel McCullough Scott, John G. McCullough, and Edith McCullough Irons, 1971, 1971.272.19. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Menat necklace from Malqata, Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III, ca. 1390–1353 B.C. From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Malqata, Birket Habu Mound B 1, Private House B, MMA excavations, 1911–12. Faience, bronze or copper alloy, glass, agate, carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise. L. of counterpoise 14.7 cm (5 13/16 in.). Rogers Fund, 1911; 11.215.450. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A menat necklace consists of a heavy, keyhole-shaped counterpoise (menat) and many strands of beads. Although the necklace is sometimes shown being worn (fig. 2 above), it was more often carried by females participating in religious ceremonies. It functioned as a percussion instrument that was shaken to create a soothing noise that was thought to appease a god or goddess. In the New Kingdom the menat necklace and sistrum (68.44) were attributes of women who held the title "Singer of Amun-Re" such as Renenutet, who is depicted holding her menat on her lap in a statue
In the early 20th century, the Museum conducted excavations at Malqata, a site at the southern end of the Theban necropolis where Amenhotep III had built a festival city for the celebration of his three jubilees (or heb seds). This miraculously preserved menat necklace and two single-strand necklaces of beads and amulets were found in the corner of a room in a private house near the King's Palace. According to the excavators, the three necklaces had been placed in a linen bag, traces of which were still visible.
Leopard-Head Girdle of Sithathoryunet, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret II–Amenemhat III, ca. 1887–1813 B.C. From Egypt, Fayum Entrance Area, Lahun, Tomb of Sithathoryunet (BSA Tomb 8), Chamber E, box 1, BSAE excavations 1914. Gold, amethyst, diorite pellets (inside), circumference of girdle: 81 cm (31 7/8 in.), large leopard heads: 4.5 x 1.2 cm (1 3/4 x 1/2 in.), small leopard heads: 1.6 cm (5/8 in.), Diam (amethyst beads): 0.9 cm (3/8 in.). Purchase, Rogers Fund and Henry Walters Gift, 1916; 16.1.6. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II, Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret II, ca. 1887–1878 B.C. From Egypt, Fayum Entrance Area, Lahun, Tomb of Sithathoryunet (BSA Tomb 8), BSAE excavations 1914. Gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, garnet (pectoral), Gold, carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, green feldspar (necklace). L. of necklace (b): 82 cm (32 5/16 in.); H. of pectoral (a): 4.5 cm (1 3/4 in.); W. 8.2 cm (3 1/4 in.). Purchase, Rogers Fund and Henry Walters Gift, 1916. 16.1.3a, b. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This pectoral is composed around the throne name of King Senwosret II. It was found among the jewelry of Princess Sithathoryunet in a special niche of her underground tomb beside the pyramid of Senwosret II at Lahun. Hieroglyphic signs make up the design, and the whole may be read: "The god of the rising sun grants life and dominion over all that the sun encircles for one million one hundred thousand years [i.e., eternity] to King Khakheperre [Senwosret II]."
This cloisonné pectoral is inlaid with 372 carefully cut pieces of semiprecious stones. The heraldic design is replete with symbolism. Zigzag lines on the base bar represent the primordial waters out of which the primeval hill emerged. Each of the falcons, symbols of the sun god, clasps a circular hieroglyph meaning "encircled," thus declaring the solar deity's supreme power over the universe. The same hieroglyph, elongated to form a cartouche, encircles the throne name of Senwosret II, Khakheperre. Flanking the king's name are two ankh hieroglyphs (meaning "life") suspended from cobras whose tails are wound around the sun disk on the falcons' heads. These snakes represent Nekhbet and Udjo, the traditional protector goddesses of the king. Supporting the royal cartouche is the kneeling god Heh clutching two palm ribs symbolizing "millions of years." Thus the king's life and existence in time are described as part of a universe created and sustained by the supreme sun god.
Jewelry worn by royal women during the Middle Kingdom was not simply for adornment or an indication of status but was also symbolic of concepts and myths surrounding Egyptian royalty. Jewelry imbued a royal woman with superhuman powers and thus enabled her to support the king in his role as guarantor of divine order on earth. It was essentially the king who benefited from the magical powers inherent in the jewelry worn by the female members of his family, which explains why his name, rather than that of the princess, appears in the designs.
Since the tomb of the princess was beside the pyramid of Senwosret, scholars speculate that she was his daughter. Other items in the tomb bear the name of Amenemhat III, suggesting that the princess lived during the reigns of three of the most powerful rulers of Dynasty 12: Senwosret II, Senwosret III, and Amenemhat III.
Heart Scarab of Manuwai, Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479–1425 B.C. From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, Wadi D, Tomb of the 3 Foreign Wives of Thutmose III. Green stone, gold. L. 6.7 cm (2 5/8 in.); W. 4.8 cm (1 7/8 in.); D. 1.6 cm (5/8 in.); L. (scarab with wire) 74.3 cm (29 1/4 in.), Fletcher Fund, 1920; 26.8.91. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sandals, Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479–1425 B.C. From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, Wadi D, Tomb of the 3 Foreign Wives of Thutmose III. Gold. L. 26.4 cm (10 3/8 in.); W. 10 cm. (3 15/16 in.); W. at heel 7 cm. (2 3/4 in.), Fletcher Fund, 1922; 26.8.148a, b. © 2000–2018 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
These gold sandals belonged to the funerary accoutrements of an Egyptian queen of Thutmose III in the middle of Dynasty 18. Similar gold sandals were found on the mummy of Tutankhamun, one of Thutmose's descendents who ruled at the end of the same dynasty
'The Body Transformed' At The Met Fifth Avenue, november 12, 2018–february 24, 2019