Necklace of Princess Khenmet
This beautiful necklace of Princess Khenmet was found on her mummy. It was worn by the deceased princess not only as jewelry, but also as an amulet to protect her from the evil powers in the netherworld. It is formed of a series of amulets on either side of a central composition.
They are arranged in a symmetrical way between two rows of gold beads. The center of the necklace is decorated with the Ankh sign, meaning “eternal life,” depicted over the Hetep sign, which signifies “peace.”
Ten amulets are arranged on each side of the Ankh: the User sign indicating power; the vulture goddess Nekhbet and the cobra goddess Wadjet, guardian deities of Upper and Lower Egypt; the goddess Bat depicted as a human head with cow’s ears and two feathers on her head; the eye of Horus, the Wadjet, which ensured health and well-being for the wearer; the Khenem pot meaning “union”; the Djed pillar for stability; another Ankh; then the trachea with the lungs, which also means union; and the bee, the symbol of Lower Egypt.
The amulets are made of gold, set with semiprecious stones, such as carnelian, turquoise and lapis lazuli. There are also the fasteners of the necklace, which are in the form of falcon’s heads.
Like other symbolic pieces of jewelry, usekh collars were placed among the linen wraps of the mummy to ward off evil from the deceased.
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 31116