The So-Called "Crown" (Vulture Pectoral)
JdE 39630 -- CG 52643

Pectoral found on head of KV 55 mummy.
(From CVK, 121.)

    The KV 55 mummy's head had been covered in some fashion by an object made of thick sheet gold shaped like the vulture Nekhbet. (Davis, ToQT, 2; Weigall, JEA 8 [1922], 199; GP, 137 J. L. Smith, TTAA, 58.) Ayrton describes this merely as a "gold crown" in his 1910 report (ToQT, 9.) In an earlier account (PSBA 29 [1907], 279) Ayrton describes this object more fully, and notes that the tail of the vulture hung over the forehead of the mummy. Martha Bell, (JARCE 27 [1990], 118) points out that the head and neck of the vulture are discernable in Davis's The Tomb of Queen Tiyi (Plate 30.) Described as a crown by Daressy in his catalogue of KV 55 objects (ToQT, "Ornaments of the Mummy," 20,  no. 8), it was later shown to be a pectoral ornament similar to that found on the mummy of Tutankhamen. If the bier on which the coffin once rested actually collapsed (and this is not certain--see JARCE 27 [1990], 133) the pectoral could possibly have been displaced upward on the mummy. J. L. Smith's comment that the "crown" was placed at a "jaunty angle" on the head of the mummy (TTAA, 58) could perhaps be taken as evidence that the pectoral had accidentally ended up in this awkward position. However, some researchers have interpreted the pectoral's unusual placement on the mummy's head as intentional, perhaps having been put there as a kind of parody. See Aldred, JEA 47 [1961], 42-43,60; Herbert Winlock, JEA 10 [1924], 255; and Maspero, NL, 294.)

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