About this object

Large mother-of-pearl shell (Meleagrina) cut down to an almost circular shape and pierced with two holes for threading onto a necklace. At the centre it is incised with the prenomen of Senwosret I (kheper-ka-ra) in a cartouche. The inscription has been incised and was likely once to have been inlaid with blue pigment like other examples. The shell is probably amuletic in character, and would have been worn as a pendant with a string of beads. It has been suggested by Winlock that these inscribed shells were the insignia of a small military organisation associated with the king. Found within chamber 1 of tomb 263 at Esna along with a group of Middle Kingdom stone, faience and shell beads now in Manchester Museum (nos. 4072 and 4073).

Object specifics

  • Type
    Personal Ornament
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date made
    1956 BC - 1911 BC about
  • Materials
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Bequest of Lt. Col. John Raymond Danson
  • Collector
    Francis Chatillon Danson
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Esna
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    9.2 mm x 9.7 mm
  • Note
    Curators Note: There survive over fifty shells of this type (oyster shells, Avicula (Meleagrina) margaritacea), with the incised names of Senusret I Kheperkare. For this type see an article by Arkell in ‘Journal of Egyptian Archaeology’ vol. 30 (1944), p. 74; an article by Aldred in ‘Journal of Egyptian Archaeology’ vol. 28 (1952), p. 130
  • Related people
    Edith Danson ( Previous owner); Francis Chatillon Danson ( Collector, previous owner); John Raymond Danson ( Previous owner); Egyptian Excavations Committee of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology ( Previous owner); John Garstang ( Previous owner)

Explore related


  • Museum Acquisitions, 1978 in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology vol. 66

    Bourriau, Janine (editor)

    Author: Bourriau, Janine (editor)
    Publisher: Egypt Exploraration Society
    Date: 1980
    Description: A list of Egyptian antiquities acquired in 1978 by museums in the United Kingdom. The article contains a complete list of the Danson collection of Egyptian antiquities acquired by World Museum in 1977.

  • The Excavations at Esna 1905 - 1906

    Downes, Dorothy

    Author: Downes, Dorothy
    Publisher: Aris and Phillips Ltd
    Date: 1974
    Description: Publication of Professor John Garstang's excavations at Esna based on archives kept in the Garstang Museum of Archaeology, the University of Liverpool. The book is based on a University of Liverpool Ph.D. manuscript by Dr Dorothy Downes who was a former Keeper of Archaeology at Liverpool Museum. The publication brings together Garstang's unpublished photographs, notebooks and individual tomb record cards made by his assistant, Mr Harold Jones. The book includes many objects from both Liverpool collections (World Museum and the Garstang Museum of Archaeology).


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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