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Lahun: gold necklace with lions' heads, from tomb of Princess Sat-hathor

Gold necklace with double lions' heads from Tomb 8 at Lahun (Brunton 1920, pl.1

Tomb 8, one of four royal tombs at the foot of Senusert II's pyramid at Lahun,  was the burial site of Princess Sat-hathor-Ant, a grandaughter of Senusert II (1897-1878 BC) who died ca. 1838 BC. While her mummy was removed by ancient tomb-robbers, a hidden case of Sat-hathor's jewelry was found intact in 1913 excavations by Flinders Petrie and Guy Brunton (1920).

Among these is a gold necklace made up of seven large double lion-heads, one being a fastener, alternating with seven small quadruple lion-heads. As described by Brunton (1920), each double-head is double-sided, with all pieces made from the same mold. The much smaller quadruple lion-heads were also cast in molds, then soldered together, side by side, in pairs. The fastener at one end includes a slider or tongue with a rounded end, which fits a tapered groove in the corresponding lion-head fastener.  Overall,  Brunton considered the work of the tongue, groove, and thread-holes of high quality, probably dating from the time of  Senusert II.

This type of lion head is not a common ornament but occurs sometimes as an amulet.  One of the mirror handles at the related site of Dahshur also has a similar lion-head motif.

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