Jewelry has been in use for many years, and this can be proven from existing ancient objects and artifacts. The first piece to be analyzed is the Gold Bracteate which has its origins in the culture Scandinavian and was discovered in Ostbornholm 1 . Bracteate is a flat and thin with a coin like structure. Additionally, it features the Germany Gods or kings. The second jewelry to be analyzed is the Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet and has its origins from Egypt. This is one of the pieces that were found at lahum, but there was other jewelry in the tomb of Princess Sithathoryunet. The paper will critically discuss two major pieces of jewelry, Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet and gold bracteates. Next, the two pieces of jewelry will be compared and contrasted. In this paper, I will be comparing “Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet” from Egypt and Gold Bracteates from the Scandinavian.
Pectoral of Princess
Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet originated from Egypt. It is one of the pieces that were found at lahum, but there was other jewelry in the tomb of Princess Sithathoryunet. The center part of the pectoral captures a cortuche that signifies the name of king Senwosret II 2 .
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Hieroglyphics figures form a composition which translates into the concept that two falcons. The pectoral was precisely composed around the King Senwosret II’s throne. Further, studies have shown that Pectoral was discovered alongside other jewelry of Princess Sithathoryunet in one of the exceptional position of her underground tomb beside the Senwosret II’s pyramid found at Lahun. It was also found that hieroglyphic signs made up the design. The cloisonné pectoral also was composed of 372 cautiously cut elements of semi-precious stones. In addition to this, the heraldic designs were repleted with an aspect of symbolism 3 .
The zigzag lines found on the bottom, on the other hand, is a representation of the primordial water from which the primeval hills emerges. Every one of the Falcons, the symbol of the sun god, clasp spherical hieroglyph denoting "encircled,” which seemingly declares the supreme powers of the solar as the deity over the entire universe 4 . Also, the hieroglyph seems to be prolonged thus forming a cartouche, encircles the name of the throne of Senwosret II, Khakheperre 5 . The two ankh hieroglyphs flank the name of the king and are balanced from cobras with their tails wound around the sun disk on the Falcons’ heads. The two snakes on the other are a representation of Udjo and Nekhbet who were considered the traditional protectors of the King. The kneeling god Heh supports the royal cartouche while grasping two palm ribs that symbolizes many years. The life of the King together with his existence in the tomb is further illustrated as key parts of the vast universe that were formed and maintained by a powerful god of the sun 6 .
Most of the jewelry which is worn by women throughout the Middle Kingdom in Egypt were not only meant for ornamentation or as a sign of societal standing, instead was widely used as the symbol of myths that surrounded the royalty of the Egyptians. Based on the fact that the prince’s tomb was beside Senwosret’s pyramid, historians have speculated that she was one of his daughters. Research has further shown that another object found in that tomb also bear Amenemhat III’s name, which apparently suggests that the princess most probably lived at the time of the reign of three influential Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II.
The second piece is the gold Bracteate that originated from the culture Scandinavian. Gold bracteates often denote specific type of jewelry that was made around the year 5 to 7th century AD as represented by a different gold specimen. It is a flat and thin coin like often featuring Germany Gods or kings. These bracteates were discovered in Ostbornholm. Bracteates were delivered in Northern Europe at the time of the migration period that was experienced during the Germanic Iron Age 7 . The ornaments contain inscriptions of mythological gods and elder futhark. Many of these bracteates depict Odin next to a horse a bird is also included in the composition 8 . One of the primary purposes is that they served as amulets to protect the person that wears it.
The bracteate had characteristics of a coin like, quite thin and single sided. But what is more interesting is what it is depicting. The first inscription is the particular horse like which is readable, but at the same time, this horse like has some strange characteristics. It debates whether it is a horse or some other mythological creature with parts of a horse or the other idea is that it is a horse which has been simplified. These bracteates were found in graves in Southern Scandinavia. The rest were found in parts of the European continent and some in England. Scholars think that not every bracteate were used as amulets since other bracteates had other purposes depending on what the inscriptions were depicting. This particular bracteate is considered as an amulet because of the bead that would have held the string to wear it around the neck. The scene of Odin riding the horse occupies the center of the bracteate.
The thin gold pendant referred to as bracteates; seemingly portray a skillful and lively design which is characterized by bold, sweeping lines. The middle faces undoubtedly exemplify the enthusiastic, extremely conceptual styles of early Viking artists. Often, Bracteates were mainly worn on the chest suspended from the neck as a magical amulet. Bracteates were primarily modeled on the Roman medallion and were thus utilized as a way to cement the political alliances 9 . History has it that the manufacturers of gold bracteates most likely originated with Roman and Byzantine portrait medallion and were issued by the emperor as a gift to the most influential figures. Some of the bracteates were changed into a portrayal of a particular god especially, Odin who was the chief of a pantheon. With its excellent workmanship and allusion to the Byzantine and Roman world, the gold bracteates apparently played a crucial role in conveying both the complicated tastes in addition to the higher social standing of the individual who owned them and those who mostly wore the prestigious pieces of jewelry and amassed them as fortune.
Differences and Similarities
The two pieces of jewelry seem to share certain similarities but at the same tend to vary significantly from each other. One of the differences between the two pieces of jewelry is that they were both worn by different people. For instance, based on the above analysis, it becomes clear that the pectoral belonged to princess Sithathoryunet on the other hand bracteates were used as amulets 10 . Most probably, bracteates had originated with Roman and Byzantine and were issued notably by the emperors as a gift to essential figures implying that it could be worn by any vital figure beside the royal families. Therefore, it is evident that while pectoral carried significant royalty notions, bracteate perhaps belonged to the non-royal people that were migrating.
Gold bracteate has been established to have one primary purpose where it was utilized as a way to cement the political alliances 11 . The King used to give critical figures in the society the gold bracelets as a form of reward. It implies that it was highly valued to extend that the king can reward people for the excellent work done. The pectoral jewelry that women wore throughout the Middle Kingdom was not only meant for decoration or as a sign of an individual’s position but was the symbol of myths that surrounded the Egyptian royalty. Therefore, Pectoral jewels carried a royal connotation with them an aspect that is distinct is from the gold bracteate 12 .
Gold bracteates arguably were purely made of gold and would be worn around the neck, with a string that would hold the bracteate. A mythological horse like creature and the face of Germany god are in relief form. On the other hand, the pectoral jewel was created with gold; however, it also entailed with other materials and had more colors besides; it was also made up of different materials and colors. Such a difference could easily be recognized without having to analyze the two pieces of jewelry closely 13 .
The pectoral jewels instilled a royal female with a phenomenal power thus enabling her to help the king in his primary function as the primary provider of divine order in the universe 14 . Arguably, it was argued that the king who to a great extent benefited from the mysterious power that was intrinsic in the jewelry worn by female family members. This seemingly explains reasons his name, and not of the princess, appeared in the design. However, a majority of the bracteates featured the rulers’ portraits of the Germanic kings with a distinctive hair plaited back, and depiction of objects from the Germanic myths was impacted to different extents by the Roman coinage.
One of the significant similarities between the two pieces of jewelry is that they both have creatures depicted on them. For the pectoral, two falcons hold the cartouche 15 . In every falcon, is the symbol of the sun god which declares the unique and supernatural power of the solar over the world. Similarly, in the gold bracteate, there is a line relief of parrot facing the Germanic god. This horse is position in the different position along the face of this mythological figure.
Both bracteate and Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet were worn as jewelry but with deferent people based on status and royalty. The similarity, in this case, is that the two were precious jewelry that was highly valued during their period and thus was majorly used for specific events. Therefore, both bracteate and Pectoral over the years have been primary targets of iconographic research by various researchers who are seemingly fascinated by the Germanic religion.
The other main similarity between the two pieces of jewelry is that they are made out of gold thus forming a converging point. At the time when these pieces of jewelry were developed, gold was considered the most precious gold of the time, therefore, was associated with a higher level of prestige and royalty hence those who wore these jewels were mostly the wealthy members of the societies. Despite the fact that the two objects originated from different countries, they are similar in that they used gold as the valuable metal.
Finally, gold bracteate and Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet further share another similarity where the objects depict scenes that are related to gods 16 . At one hand, it has been shown that the gold bracteate portrays a god known as ‘Odin while on the other hand, Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet jewel depicts various goddesses, for instance, the Falcons of the little guy found at the bottom are males.
The essay has critically analyzed two famous pieces of jewelry bracteate and Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet. A bracteate has been shown to have a flat and thin structure and a single side gold metal produced in the Northern Europe predominantly. Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet, on the other hand, has been shown to have originated from Egypt. On its center, the pectoral captures a cartouche which seemingly signifies the name of king Senwosret II. It is evident that the two pieces of jewelry share several similarities including the use of the objects as jewelry and the fact that they both contain creatures. However, the two also tend to differ significantly concerning their use and people who wore them.
Axboe, Morten, and Anne Kromann. "DN ODINN PF AUC? Germanic" Imperial Portraits" on Scandinavian Gold Bracteates." Acta Hyperborea 4 (1992): 271-305.
c.1897-1878 B.C. Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet. http://library.artstor.org/asset/ARTSTOR_103_41822001371283.
Line, Credit, and Rogers Fund Purchase. "Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II."
metmuseum.org . Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II .
metmuseum.org . Gold Bracteate . https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/473485
Oehrl, Sigmund. Zeitschrift F ü r Deutsches Altertum Und Deutsche Literatur 141, no. 2 (2012): 233-48. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41698883 .
Roehrig, C. E. "Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (2030-1640BC)." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (2000).
Starkey, Kathryn. "Imagining an early Odin: gold bracteates as visual evidence?." Scandinavian Studies 71, no. 4 (1999): 373.
1 Axboe, Morten, and Anne Kromann. "DN ODINN PF AUC? Germanic" Imperial Portraits" on Scandinavian Gold Bracteates." Acta Hyperborea 4 (1992): 271-305.
2 c.1897-1878 B.C. Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet.
3 Roehrig, C. E. "Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (2030-1640BC)." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (2000).
4 Line, Credit, and Rogers Fund Purchase. "Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II."
5 c.1897-1878 B.C. Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet.
6 metmuseum.org . Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II .
7 Axboe, Morten, and Anne Kromann. "DN ODINN PF AUC? Germanic" Imperial Portraits" on Scandinavian Gold Bracteates." Acta Hyperborea 4 (1992): 271-305.
8 Starkey, Kathryn. "Imagining an early Odin: gold bracteates as visual evidence?." Scandinavian Studies 71, no. 4 (1999): 373.
9 metmuseum.org . Gold Bracteate
10 Oehrl, Sigmund. Zeitschrift F ü r Deutsches Altertum Und Deutsche Literatur 141, no. 2 (2012): 233-48
11 Axboe, Morten, and Anne Kromann. "DN ODINN PF AUC? Germanic" Imperial Portraits" on Scandinavian Gold Bracteates." Acta Hyperborea 4 (1992): 271-305.
12 c.1897-1878 B.C. Pectoral of Princess Sithathoryunet.
13 Roehrig, C. E. "Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (2030-1640BC)." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (2000).
14 metmuseum.org . Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II .
15 Line, Credit, and Rogers Fund Purchase. "Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II."
16 Line, Credit, and Rogers Fund Purchase. "Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II."