Usekh Collar of Tutankhamun

Inside his innermost coffin Tutankhamun was buried with six collars, each with falcon heads at the ends, this amazing Usekh was found draped over the king’s thighs. A rainbow of colors: This broad collar has 11 main sections made of gold, as well as a counterweight or (mankhet).

It is standard collar of tubular beads and has hawks heads at either end. Each section has 8 rows of plaques, made of colored glass. The glass was meant to imitate semi-precious stones: light blue for turquoise, dark blue for lapis lazuli, black for obsidian and red for carnelian. The ninth row represents flower buds.

Usekh Collar of Tutankhamun with Counterweight
The Usekh Collar of Tutankhamun with Counterweight. Photo: Kenneth Garrett

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.

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

From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 61880