Pectoral of Princess Sithathor
The frame of this pectoral of Princess Sithathor is topped by a cavetto cornice. Below, at the center of the piece, is a cartouche of Senusret II, surmounted by the hieroglyphic symbol for gods. On either side of the cartouche is a hawk, each wearing the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, and standing on a neb symbol, meaning gold.
Behind each hawk is a cobra and a sun-disc, with each cobra passing through an ankh-symbol. The pectoral is attached to a chain of gold beads, and semi-precious stones. Made out of gold, carnelian, turquoise and lapis-lazuli.
The Middle Kingdom in Egypt is generally regarded as the zenith of Egyptian jewelry making. The jewelers of the royal court produced items of exquisite simplicity and elegant design from rare and exotic materials. Many motifs that had heretofore been reserved exclusively for the king’s regalia were adopted by the upper classes.
Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1991-1803 BC. From the Tomb of Princess Sithathor, next to the pyramid of king Senusret III at Dahshur. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 30857; CG52001