ancientpeoples: Pendant with Lion’s Head and B…


Pendant with Lion’s Head and Babboons

Napatan, Sudan,

c. 700 BC; lion’s head component, Egypt, probably New Kingdom

Amethyst and gold, Overall: 3.5 x 2.9 x 2.7 cm 

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 amuletic pendant. 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.

Source: Cleveland Museum of Art

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