On this golden breastplate, Amenemopé is facing Osiris


With a happy Salut to all dear friends, it is again my lovely day and I want to use every moment of it 😉

here is a wonderful encounter of a Pharaoh (Amenemopé) with the God Osiris; a great image (translated from French) 🙏💖

Pectoral of Amenemope – gold
Origin: Tanis – Tomb Amenemope discovered by Pierre Montet, April 16, 1940 Exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 86038

Another amazing inscription by adorable friend Marie Grillot ❤ 🙏 with sincere thanks to Marc Chartier 🙏


This breastplate is one of only two that accompanied Pharaoh Amenemope for his eternity. On a heavy gold chain with a length of 46 cm, hangs a gold plate, of square shape (8.8 x 8.9 cm), which is relatively original because this type of pendant marries the most often a rectangular shape.

Jean Yoyotte explains the way the silversmith designed it: “Two gold sheets of the same size fit together dry, adjusted on a thin filling (cement?), The whole being provided with two welded grooved rams on the edge, small rods are used to fix the chain “.

The decoration of the breastplate takes up the architecture of a temple door, surmounted by a grooved cornice, on which is stretched – as in temples – a representation of the winged sun.

The lower part of the pendant consists of a frieze of thirteen repeating patterns alternately: the Djed pillar is reproduced seven times, while the Tit loop appears six times. These protective emblems are respectively associated with Osiris and Isis.

Pectoral of Amenemope – gold
Origin: Tanis – Tomb Amenemope discovered by Pierre Montet, April 16, 1940
Exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 86038

Indeed, the Djed pillar is an Osirian amulet, a symbol of stability, present in Egypt since the earliest times while the “knot of Isis (Tit) is, meanwhile, assimilated to the blood and the magic power of Isis “(Isabelle Franco).

The “table” central scene, evoking a funeral rite, is declined in a frame bordered by a ramesside frieze. If this scene is very frequent in funerary iconography, Christiane Ziegler explains, however, here, the originality: “Of all the pectorals of Tanis, this one is the only one to stage the pharaoh. The decoration, executed in pushed back on the gold leaf depicts King Amonemope offering incense and a libation to the god of the dead Osiris. An identical motif is engraved on the backplate “.

The pharaoh wearing the nemes and wearing a loincloth with a facet is standing, in the attitude of walking. He is facing Osiris who sits on his throne. The god of the underground world, wearing the imposing Atef crown, is represented in its mummiform aspect. He squeezes the whip and the flail on his chest.

Pectoral of Amenemope – gold
Origin: Tanis – Tomb Amenemope discovered by Pierre Montet, April 16, 1940
Exhibited at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 86038

Amenemopé raises his right hand and holds an incense casserole in the left. “Between the two partners, a vertical legend specifies that the first is supposed to make the censer and the libation to his father Osiris” (Jean Yoyotte)

In the worship of gods and divinities, the fumigation of incense is, with the libation of water, one of the most important rituals of the Pharaonic liturgy. The main function of fumigation was to “breathe life back into the frankincense supposed to be an emission from Osiris’ body”. This scene is often reproduced on the walls of temples or the walls of tombs, most often performed by a Sem priest or by Pharaoh himself … “. It is also important to note that it is reproduced on one of the walls of the tomb of Amenemope.

Frankincense, rare in Egypt, was mainly dedicated to the worship of divinities and to Pharaoh,; it could be olibanum, terebinth, myrrh, or styrax,… But the most sought after, the most popular, was kyphi (kỳ phi), produced by a mixture of 10 to 50 substances. It should be recalled that “The priests offered Re three kinds of incense every day, one at waking, one in the middle of the day and one at bedtime”. …

Funerary mask of Pharaoh Amenemop (Amenemope, Ménémopé, Amonemapit) discovered by Pierre Montet at Tanis in April 1940 – May 3, 1940, a truck protected by the army, the treasure of Amenemope takes the path of the Egyptian Museum Square Tahrir

Amenemopé is a pharaoh of the XXIth dynasty whose reign, which has been exercised since Tanis, is located around 1001-992 BC. In “The treasures of the Egyptian Museum”, collective work written under the direction of Francesco Tiradritti, one can read that this “successor of Psousennès Ier was buried in the tomb of this last, in a room covered with granite, originally created to accommodate the remains of Moutnedjemet, wife and sister of Psousennès I “.

We can only be surprised that he was buried in a one-room vault when he has his own burial referenced NRT IV (NRT = Royal Necropolis of Tanis). The fact remains that his “real” abode of eternity – the one in which his mummy rested – was discovered in the spring of 1940 by Pierre Montet and his team.

The vault of Amenemope when opened
Drawing E. Pons
Source: Pierre Montet, “Tanis”, Payot, 1942

In “Tanis – Twelve years of excavations in a forgotten capital of the Egyptian Delta”, the discoverer recounts this very special day: “The entrance was opened on April 16. His Majesty King Farouk arrived the day before in Sân, where he had made erect a city of tents, was present, as well as Canon Drioton, director of the Egyptian Antiquities Service and a young Egyptian Egyptologist, Professor Abou Bekr. The vault was furnished much like that of Psousennès: at the bottom a sarcophagus of granite, in the anterior half the canopic jars, the metal jars, a large sealed jar, funerary statuettes, a vast chest in gilded wood which had collapsed by the effect of time and humidity. objects had been put in a safe place the sarcophagus cover was put in their place. Much less opulent than Psousennès, the new sovereign had been content with a single stone sarcophagus and an anthropoid wooden coffin re-clad in gold, the wood was reduced to almost nothing. The gold plates were removed. It is hardly necessary to say that the mummy had suffered enormously. His ornaments less numerous than those of Psousennès nevertheless constitute a very beautiful collection: a gold mask, two necklaces, two pectorals, two scarabs, hearts of lapis and chalcedony, bracelets and rings, a large cloisonne gold falcon with spread wings, canes. ”

In this troubled period of World War II, the artefacts will be brought to safety as soon as possible. Thus, from May 3, 1940, it is in a truck protected by the army that the treasure of Amenemope will take the way to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square … The breastplate will be registered in the Journal des Entrées under the reference JE 86038.

Marie Grillot

  • Tanis – Twelve years of excavations in a forgotten capital of the Egyptian Delta, Pierre Montet, 1942
  • Tanis the gold of the pharaohs, catalog of the Paris exhibition, Galeries Nationale du Grand Palais, March 26 – July 20, 1987
  • The discovery of the Treasures of Tanis, Georges Goyon
  • Treasures of Egypt – The Wonders of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Francesco Tiradritti
  • Tanis: treasures of the pharaohs, Henri Stierlin and Christiane Ziegler, Seuil, 1987
  • Pharaohs – Catalog of the exhibition presented at the Institut du monde arabe in Paris, from October 15, 2004, to April 10, 2005
  • Ancient Egypt and its gods, Jean-Pierre Corteggiani, 2007
  • Dictionary of Egyptian Mythology, Isabelle Franco, 2013

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