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. So each element has a strong symbolic scope of protection, rebirth, to which is added a very close link with the Kingdom of the Second Earths.
Like other symbolic pieces of jewelry, usekh collars were placed among the linen wraps of the mummy to ward off evil from the deceased. The jewelry that accompanied the princess for eternity testify to the exceptional mastery that the goldsmiths of the 12th Dynasty had attained
This necklace is more modest. These items were found, scattered, between the mummy’s banners. 37cm long, it was reconstituted in the most plausible way. It consists of two rows of multiple small flat gold pearls.
In the upper row are hung, at regular intervals, twenty-one pendulum, going in pairs, except the one in the center. Very thin and of the same height, they are composed of gold embedded with colored stones, such as lapis-lazuli, caraline, or turquoise.
Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Amenemhat II, ca. 1932-1898 BC. From the Tomb of Khenmet, Funerary Complex of Amenemhat II at Dahshur. Discovered in April 1894 by Jacques de Morgan. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 31116