c. 700 BC

Amethyst and gold

Overall: 3.5 x 2.9 x 2.7 cm (1 3/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 1/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1987.1



This pendant consists of two parts: a superbly carved lion’s head in amethyst that has been set into a D-shaped gold base consisting of a platform surrounded by eight seated baboons. The lion’s head is an heirloom from the New Kingdom, most likely a gaming piece that had been adapted in the Napatan period to serve as an pendant amulet. This procedure was fairly common in antiquity as a means of recycling precious stones. The importance of leonine deities in Nubian religion was obviously the motivating force behind the creation of this spectacular ornament.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email