The Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet, curated at the Metropolitan Musuem of Art, originates from the Middle Kingdom's 12th dynasty, dating approximately to 1887-1813 B.C.E. This set was unearthed at the burial site of Princess Sithathoryunet in El Lahun, Egypt, revealing exemplary Ancient Egyptian lapidary and goldsmith abilities.
The intricate pectoral, expertly inlaid with a variety of semi-precious stones, such as carnelian, feldspar, garnet, and blue-green faience, is the main attraction. These materials are combined with gold and electrum to construct a pectoral featuring an evenly balanced representation of the falcon god Horus, situated on both sides of a sundisc. The god is placed on the 'Neb' hieroglyph, which denotes 'all that there is,' symbolizing the omnipotent sun god.
The pectoral’s lower section incorporates the sema-tawy symbol, representing the unity of Upper and Lower Egypt. Adjacent to this symbol, three-dimensional figures of sphinxes, falcons, and cobras compose an intricate layout. The pectoral's reverse side is meticulously engraved with hieroglyphs stating the princess's name and title.
Complementing the pectoral, the necklace exhibits a complex design of 23 rows of tube and disk beads made from gold and carnelian. The pectoral and necklace are connected by slender gold cylinders, indicating high-quality craftsmanship.
The vibrant colors of the materials persist, with the stones' lustre creating a visual contrast against the gold. Notable are the precision, equilibrium, and symmetry of the design, revealing a deep comprehension of geometry and aesthetics.