A gold ‘lotus flower’ necklace dating from the time of Queen Nefertiti has been found in Cyprus

The jewels were buried next to the 155 people buried there.

An ancient Egyptian lotus pendant with inlaid stones, dating to about 1350 B.C. Most of the objects found in the tombs, including this one, are from the time of Queen Nefertiti, who wore similar jewelry. (Image credit: P.M. Fischer and T. Bürge)

The “lotus flower” necklace, decorated with precious stones similar to those worn by the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, has been unearthed in a number of tombs in Cyprus. The necklace is one of hundreds of flamboyant grave goods unearthed in the region from the Mediterranean region, including precious stones, ceramics and jewellery.

In 2018, archaeologists from the New Swedish Cyprus Expedition for the first time uncovered two Bronze Age tombs, both with underground chambers, still in the ancient city of Sultan Tekke. it suggests that burial chambers have been used for several generations.

“The findings suggest that these were family tombs for the ruling elite in the city,” excavation leader Peter Fischer, an honorary professor of historical studies at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in a statement. “For example, we found the skeleton of a 5-year-old boy with a gold necklace, gold earrings and a gold crown. This was probably the child of a powerful and wealthy family.”

Among the grave goods are jewelry made of gold, silver, bronze and ivory, as well as other souvenirs, as well as containers belonging to various cultures Dec “We also found a ceramic bull,” Fischer said. “The body of this hollow bull has two openings: one in the back, probably for filling with wine, and the other for drinking through the nose. Apparently, they had banquets in the room to honor their dead.”

The remains of a 5-year-old were found buried with a lot of gold jewelry, including this tiara. (Image credit: P.M. Fischer and T. Bürge)

By the way, among other grave goods were a red carnelian stone from India, a blue lapis lazuli stone from Afghanistan and amber from the Baltic Sea environment – valuable items dec deciphering the involvement of Bronze Age people in Cyprus in a vast trade network. According to the statement, archaeologists also found evidence of trade with ancient Egypt, including gold jewelry, scarabs (insect-shaped amulets with hieroglyphs) and the remains of fish imported from the Nile Valley.

The archaeological team dated the gold jewelry by comparing it with similar finds from Egypt. “Comparisons show that most of the objects are from the time of Nefertiti and her husband Echnaton [who also writes about King Tutankhamun’s father Akhenaten],” Fischer said. “We found it like a gold necklace: a lotus flower embroidered with precious stones. Nefertiti wore similar jewelry.”

The same 5-year-old also wore this gold necklace. (Image credit: P.M. Fischer and T. Bürge)

The excavation team also uncovered a cylinder-shaped seal made of hematite, a mineral with a metallic tint. The seal bears a cuneiform inscription from Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), which archaeologists have deciphered.

“The text consists of three lines, and three names are crossed out. One of them is Amurru, a god worshiped in Mesopotamia. The other two are the historical kings, father and son, whom we managed to trace in other texts on clay tablets from the same period. , i.e. 18 BC. a century,” Fischer said. “We are currently trying to determine why the seal ended up in Cyprus, which is more than 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] from where it was made.”

A (right) Mesopotamian cylinder-shaped seal of hematite with a cuneiform inscription dating to the 18th century B.C.; A (left) Egyptian scarab with hieroglyphs, dating to about 1350 B.C. (Image credit: P.M. Fischer and T. Bürge)

Fischer said analysis of ceramic items in the graves showed that the way they were handled had changed over time, which helped to date the findings.

Next, archaeologists plan to analyze the DNA of skeletons buried in graves. “This will reveal how different individuals are related to each other and whether there are immigrants from other cultures, which is unlikely given their extensive trade networks,” Fischer said.” said.

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