Jewelry of Princess Khenmet

These items of jewelry belonging to Princess Khenmet are made with the decorative cloisonné technique of applied gold threads and tiny beads that was very popular outside Egypt, particularly in Syria and the area of the Aegean. The first chain has a pendant of a spotted heifer in a round border in blue enamel. This one is attached to two chains ending by two open work flower pendants. The third item is a delicate butterfly-shaped clasp made from thin gold leaf.

On the top, there are small gold birds which were ornaments that adorned the princess’ hair. The second chain consists of a series of pendants in the form of shells and two large five-pointed stars. The third chain is a series of pendants in the shape of stylized bees.

Gold Jewelry of Princess Khnumit. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 3112,24,26,27
Gold Jewelry of Princess Khenmet. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 3112,24,26,27

Princess Khenmet or Khnumit was buried in Amenemhat II’s pyramid complex and, considering the 35 year reign of this king, it is believed that she must have been this king’s daughter. The sarcophagus, mummy and funerary equipment of this princess was found intact near the pyramid of her father at Dahshur by Jacques de Morgan in 1894. In the small chamber next to the sarcophagus were found further personal adornments. These included two diadems and parts of a necklace made in gold.

Bracelet of Princess Khenmet, made of gold, turquoise, carnelian and lapis lazuli
Lion claw bracelet of Princess Khenmet, made of gold, turquoise, carnelian and lapis lazuli

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Amenemhat II, ca. 1932-1898 BC. From the Tomb of Khenmet, Funerary Complex of Amenemhat II at Dahshur. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 3112,24,26,27