A Diadem for Tut
The vulture goddess Nekhbet owed her importance to King Menes’
conquest of Lower Egypt in predynastic time and his simultaneous
adoption of her as a goddess whom he held in favor. In them thar
day, it was not uncommon for a king to pick a god, rather then
the other way around. And King Menes’ patron goddess of the time
was the cobra-goddess Wadjet, who was responsible for the
unification of Lower and Upper Egypt back in 3100 B.C. And so,
together, the cobra and the vulture became the symbols, and the
unification and guardian deities of the kings of Egypt. And
that’s why they sit together so proudly on the crowns of the
Dear old Tutankhamen wore his diadem over a wig. Interesting
thing about the vulture and the cobra, however, is that this
jewelry was not fastened permanently to the crown, but was rather
removable, and fitted into the diadem by means of tongues in
slots. So…if Tut wanted to change crowns…and keep his
symbolic goddesses around, all he had to do was slip them off of
this one and onto that one. This way one set of gods covered all
The Egyptians wore high class jewelry, and Tut was no exception.
His vulture had black obsidian eyes and was made of solid gold.
The cobra’s head and hood were inlaid with lapis and carnelian
and glass and faience. His headband was adorned with carnelian
rondels. The rest of the crown had, in various places, red
chalcedony, turquoise, and glass cloisonne work.
He was well protected by his gods, old Tut was, and in addition
to wearing his diadem, he also often word circlets of flowers in
his hair, often blue lotus, which, while fresh, not only kept his
coif in place, but also surrounded him with a fresh and sweet
smelling aroma. Clearly, Chanel had not yet made an appearance,
and flowers was what was used instead.
The diadem, which you can all view from my home page, at the
graphic link associated with Tidbits on the table menu, is only
one of the many fascinating and beautiful bits of jewelry of
Tut’s time. I will, every once in a while, scan another piece and
show it to you. I hope you like it.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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