Bracelets of Shoshenq II – Egypt Museum

Kane Khanh | Archeaology
January 30, 2024

These golden twin bracelets belong to King Shoshenq II were found, with another identical five bracelets, around the wrists of the king. The two ornaments here are decorated with the wadjet eye, above the hieroglyphic “Neb” sign symbolizing eternal protection for the king.

The decorations of the bracelets are identical except for the eyes. The right eye of Re is depicted on one of the bracelets represented the sun. The other bracelet portrays the left eye of Horus represented the moon. The cartouches of the king can be seen within the bracelets. On the outside, vertical strips run along the surface, made from gold and lapis lazuli.

Two Bracelets of King Shoshenq II. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184 A-BTwo Bracelets of King Shoshenq II. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184 A-B

Wadjet, the healing eye

The image was believed to protect the king as it represented the healed eye in the myth of Horus and his uncle Seth. The myth says that Seth struck out the eye of Horus during a struggle and reduced it to pieces but that Thoth magically recomposed the eye which then became known as wadjet or “healing eye”.

The wadjet was one of the most widespread talismans in ancient Egypt. It is even seen on a bracelet in the treasure of Tutankhamun. The wadjet represents refound wholeness and the restoration of lost well-being.

Left Eye Bracelet of King Shoshenq IILeft Eye Bracelet of King Shoshenq II

Around the square with the eye, the bracelet is decorated with vertical bands of gold and lapis lazuli, and the edges with a strip of rectangles of inlaid lapis lazuli alternating with squares of carnelian. Inside, there are two engraved cartouches bearing the name of Shoshenq I, from whom Shoshenq II inherited many jewels.

Third Intermediate Period, 22nd Dynasty, ca. 945-720 BC. Found on the mummy of King Shoshenq II, in his tomb at Tanis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 72184 A-B

Right Eye Bracelet of King Shoshenq II