Exhibitions/ Art Object

Fish Pendant

Middle Kingdom
Late Dynasty 12-early Dynasty 13
ca. 1878-1749 B.C.
From Egypt, Haraga, Cemetery A, Tomb 72
Gold over a core of unknown material
L. 3.9 cm (1 9/16 in.); H. 1.6 cm (5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
On loan courtesy of National Museums Scotland
Not on view
This pendant takes the form of an "upside-down catfish," a species that regularly swims belly-up and thus resembles a dead fish. Ancient Egyptians perhaps associated this type of catfish with powers of regeneration. This splendid example was found in a child’s coffin, along with four other fish pendants and silver cowrie shells, presumably from a girdle.
El-Haraga, cemetery A, tomb 72; British School of Archeology in Egypt and Egyptian Research Account excavations, 1913-14.