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Pendant

Pendant

c. 700 BC

Amethyst and gold

Overall: 3.5 x 2.9 x 2.7 cm (1 3/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 1/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1987.1

Description

This pendant consists of two parts: a superbly carved lion’s head in amethyst that has been set into a D-shaped gold base consisting of a platform surrounded by eight seated baboons. The lion’s head is an heirloom from the New Kingdom, most likely a gaming piece that had been adapted in the Napatan period to serve as an pendant amulet. This procedure was fairly common in antiquity as a means of recycling precious stones. The importance of leonine deities in Nubian religion was obviously the motivating force behind the creation of this spectacular ornament.

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