Tutankhamun's burial jewellery
The pectoral is a kind of ornament that
was very popular or common with Egyptian burials, and they have been found
in a large number of varieties. Tutankhamun's tomb had a number of
these and there either used within his mummy bindings or found within chests in the
Treasury. Most have a dorsal
ornament which hung down the back, acting as a counter weight and also as
a fastening. This piece is built using gold, silver and semi-precious
stones and is an excellent example of cloisonné.
The central element is a scarab made form a
translucent green chalcedony. Attached to it are the open wings and tail
of a vulture (Nekhebet) which are inlayed
with coloured glass. The legs of the bird are grasping the shen
hieroglyph which is the symbol of eternity. It is also holding a bunch of lotus
flowers (right) and a lily (left), symbols of Upper (Southern) Egypt.
Below the vulture's tail are garlands of lotus (Upper
Egypt) and papyrus (Lower Egypt). Flanking the scarab are the profiles of two cobra,
inlaid with coloured glass paste and bearing yellow solar discs on their heads.
Resting on the vulture's wings is a thin boat
with a Wedjat eye, the left eye of Horus representing the moon and flanked
by two face-on cobra with solar discs on their heads. This boat represents
the journey taken by the moon which in Egyptian mythology sailed across the sky
Above the boat is a silver lunar disc with a gold
crescent. Three figures are shown on gold relief - the protagonists in a
celestial coronation scene. In the centre the Pharaoh wearing a crown
(with a moon above him) and flanked by two divinities making protective gestures
- on the left is the ibis-headed moon god Thoth and on the right is the
falcon-headed god Re-Horakhty.
The pectoral is a combination of symbolism, mixing moon
and sun as heavenly bodies associated with the power of the Egyptian Kings.
the left is a Flexible collar of Nekhebet (vulture)
with superb workmanship, made up of 256 gold plaques inlaid with polychrome
glass and threaded together with borders of tiny beads.
thorax (neck down to the abdomen) had 35 different objects.
These objects were in seventeen groups, and in thirteen different
layers of wrapping.
The first of the layers was a series of
gold collars extending below the clavicle and covering the
shoulders. These collars were 'hanging' from the neck by a
wire, and this had a mankhet at the back. Each collar
was places to partially overlap each other.
The top right was a collar with Nekhebet
vulture. To the top left was a chased sheet gold amulet collar known as "the collar of Nebti",
which combines the Buto and Nekhebet (see the picture to the right). The Buto is a winged serpent. The next, even further to then left
was a collar representing the Buto alone, with it's wings
outstretched. The last collar was to the right of the centre
of his chest and was of the Hawk.
The Hawk. This is the last collar, of four, covering Tutankhamun's thorax and it was to the right of the centre of his chest. It is standard collar of tubular beads and has hawks
heads at either end.
- It was 'hanging' from the neck by a wire, and this had a mankhet
at the back.
Tutankhamun's Death Mask and funerary goods. Cairo Museum, Egypt.