The Princesses’ Jewels

Necklace of Princess Khnumet

Necklace of Princess Khnumet, Photo: Creative Commons

As chronicled in “The Mummy Case”, the Peabody-Emersons worked at the dilapidated Middle Kingdom pyramid at Mazghuna during the 1894-95 season. The Director of the Antiquities Service, Jean-Jacques de Morgan, was excavating at the same time at the much more extensive remains in adjacent Dashur.

According to the story, Ramses Emerson, then a very precocious 7 year old, found the jewelry of Middle Kingdom princesses while searching on his own under the Dashur pyramids. He secretly turned them over to de Morgan, apparently in return for his parents being granted the concession to dig at Dashur the following year.

In real life, de Morgan found the jewels of 12th Dynasty Princesses Meret and Khnumet in their tombs, close to the pyramid of King Amenemhat II.

Necklace of Khnumet, daughter of King Amenemhat II and wife of his son and successor King Senusret II, from the Cairo Museum.

More information from

Object name: Falcon collar of Princess Khnumet

Material: Gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, tourquoise, carnelian, garnets, and green felspar.

Measurements: 3.8 cm high (terminals), 4.3 cm wide

Provenance: Found by Jacques-Jean de Morgan in the tomb of Iti and Khnumet, Dashur.

Date: 1894

Additional description: A ‘Falcon Collar’ tentatively reconstructed from elements recovered masse by de Morgan. It comprises seven rows of pendant beads connected by strings of gold ring-beads. Four of the rows consist of three different hieroglyphs symbolizing ‘Life’, ‘Stability’ and ‘Power’ made of gold inlaid with coloured stones and graduated in size.

Current location with inventory numbers: Cairo Museum, Cat Nos. 52861—2 et. al.

Acquisition history: Found by de Morgan and sent to the Cairo Museum

Bibliography: Aldred, Cyril, “Jewels of the Pharaohs,” Andrews, Carol, “Ancient Egyptian Jewelry”.

The only description in Porter and Moss is the footnote: “Uninscribed jewellery of Iti and Khnemt is in Cairo Museum.”