Diadem of Tutankhamun

The gold diadem of Tutankhamun was designed to secure the wig of the king during ceremonies and to protect his forehead in the hereafter. It is a multicolored masterpiece, decorated with gold cloisonn├ęs inlaid with circles of carnelian and edged with inlays of turquoise, lapis lazuli, and blue glass.

At the center front are the protective deities of Upper and Lower Egypt: the vulture goddess, Nekhbet, with inlaid obsidian eyes, and the cobra goddess, Wadjet, inlaid with semiprecious stones and glass. The papyrus flowers on either side are of malachite and the knot at the back is of chalcedony.

Diadem of King Tutankhamun
Diadem of King Tutankhamun
Diadem of King Tutankhamun
Diadem of King Tutankhamun
Diadem of King Tutankhamun
Diadem of King Tutankhamun

On the front of the hood, crossing the central markings, is the emblem of the goddess Neith. When wrapping the mummy, the embalmers did not attach the vulture’s head and the cobra to the diadem, possibly because the mask would not have fitted over them, but placed them lower on the body, the vulture’s head over the right (southern) thigh and the cobra over the left thigh.

King Tutankhamun’s diadem was found on his mummified head following the excavation of his tomb. Known as a cap crown, it held a linen skullcap on his head, which had decayed by the time the tomb was opened.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60684