Usekh Collar of Queen Ahhotep I

The Usekh adorned collar of Queen Ahhotep I, with clasp made from two hawk heads, formed by small elements representing baboons, quadrupeds, birds, crosses, bells and geometrical motifs.

The Usekh or Wesekh is a personal ornament, a type of broad collar or necklace. It was one of the most common types of Egyptian ornaments. It could be composed of faience beads, flower petals, or gold with semi-precious stone or glass inlays.

Usekh Collar of Ahhotep I
Usekh Collar of Ahhotep I

Most of the objects found in the tomb of Queen Ahhotep I bear the names of her sons, Kamose and Ahmose, the kings that chased the Hyksos out of the country.

The queen played a major role during the war of liberation as testified by the many objects that her sons donated to her grave goods. Some of those gifts were weapons, unusual for a woman’s tomb.

Like other symbolic pieces of jewelry, Usekh collars were placed among the linen wraps of the mummy to ward off evil from the deceased.

Second Intermediate Period, 17th Dynasty, ca. 1580-1550 BC. Made of gold and semi-precious stones. From the Tomb of Queen Ahhotep, Dra’ Abu el-Naga’, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 4725a