Pectoral of Shoshenq II

At its top, this pectoral King Shoshenq II displays two falcons, each wearing the Double Pschent Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. They are sitting upon the hieroglyphic symbol for sky, which is adorned with stars. Below, resting upon a boat, can be seen a lapis lazuli sun-disc, with an image of the enthroned god Amun-Ra-Horakhty before the goddess Maat at its center.

To either side is a goddess, each stretching her wings out in protection: to the left is Hathor, while to the right is Maat. Plants, symbolizing Upper and Lower Egypt, stand behind each. Water can be seen below the boat, represented by inlaid wavy lines. At the bottom are alternating open and closed lotuses, although the final lotus to the left is missing.

Pectoral of King Shoshenq II
Pectoral of King Shoshenq II

At the right end of the barque stands Maat while at the other end stands the goddess Hathor. With winged arms outstretched towards the sun disc, each deity holds in her right hand a plume (a symbol of truth, justice, harmony, morality, righteousness, order, and cosmic balance).

In the left each holds a hieroglyph composed of the nefer sign (a symbol of perfection or completeness), the Wadjet-eye (a symbol of eternal rebirth), and the neb basket (the word used for ‘all’ or ‘every’, and ‘lord’ or ‘master’).

On the right side of the pectoral the sky is supported by the heraldic plant of Lower Egypt: papyrus, while on the left it is supported by that of Upper Egypt: lotus. Two crowned Horus falcons stand in the upper corners above the sky while upside-down lotus flowers (four inflated and four buds are preserved) hang from a hinge at the bottom of the pectoral.

Third Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, reign of Shoshenq II, ca. 887-885 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72171