Earrings of Tutankhamun with Duck Heads

This pair of earrings is the most beautiful of the four pairs discovered in the Tomb of Tutankhamun. The ducks with outstretched wings form a circle and its feet hold the shen sign. The head is made of translucent blue glass and the wing is fashioned in cloisonné.

Under the duck hang gold and blue glass beads with five uraei (rearing cobras). The earrings show a great aesthetic sensibility, and duck held specific erotic symbolism.

Earrings of Tutankhamun with Duck Heads
Earrings of Tutankhamun with Duck Heads

Tutankhamun was buried with a vast array of treasures, including this pair of earrings featuring duck heads. These earrings, made of precious materials such as gold and gemstones, were discovered in Tutankhamun’s tomb by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

The symbolism behind the duck heads earrings in Tutankhamun’s tomb is not entirely clear. However, it is believed that ducks held significance in ancient Egyptian culture.

Ducks were associated with various concepts, including fertility, regeneration, and the afterlife. They were also connected to the Egyptian god Amun, who was often depicted with a duck’s head.

The inclusion of duck heads on Tutankhamun’s earrings may have been a way to invoke these symbolic associations. It is possible that the earrings were intended to provide the young pharaoh with protection, fertility, or a connection to the divine realm in the afterlife.

While the exact meaning and purpose of the duck heads earrings in Tutankhamun’s tomb may remain somewhat speculative, their presence among his treasures showcases the intricate craftsmanship and symbolic significance of jewelry in ancient Egyptian culture.

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61969

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