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Tutankhamun Pectoral with the Winged Scarab

Pectoral of Tutankhamun with the Winged Scarab

This beautiful pendant illustrates the throne name of King Tutankhamun, "Neb- kheprew-re." The central element is the scarab "Khepri" made of a fine piece of lapis lazuli, and three strokes of plural "sign in hieroglyphs" below it.The pectoral is made of solid gold decorated on the outer surface with cloisonne-work of lapis lazuli, carnelian, and turquoise-colored glass. The lunar disk is of gold alloyed with silver. All the details of the elements in its composition are finely engraved in the gold base on the inner surface.

Tutankhamun Pectoral with the Winged Scarab

Tutankhamun Pectoral with the Winged Scarab

Between the forelegs of the scarab, the risen sun disk "Re" is depicted. It is made of a clear red carnelian set in gold, which represents what, in nature, was the ball of mud and dung containing its eggs that was rolled forward by the beetle. Beneath the plural strokes "sign in hieroglyphs" is a basket shape "Neb" inlaid with turquoise.

The gold wings that are often added to the scarab represent Re, the god of the rising sun. They sweep round to form an almost complete circle, enveloping the royal name and offering it divine protection.
Carter thought that the moon's disk was intended to counterbalance the sun's disk of the falcon pectoral. 
He remarked, however, that all these pectorals showed signs of friction; it seems unlikely that they were worn together as a pair by the king during his lifetime, though he may well have worn them individually. Chains of plaited gold wire connect the pectoral with two inlaid gold lotus flowers and a heart-shaped pendant separated by two carnelian beads.

The pendant is inlaid with a cartouche bearing the king's throne name written in the normal manner flanked by two uraei. Since the lotus flowers have five holes and the pectoral is provided with a similar number of eyelets at the tops of the wings, it is probable that the necklace was originally intended to have five strands of gold bead chains.