Chalcedony pendant


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

This is a pendant of pale blue chalcedony, pierced for suspension. It is carved with an inscription in Elamite which reads: 'I, Shilhak-Inshushinak, enlarger of the kingdom, this jasper from [the land of] Puralish I took. What I painstakingly made I placed here, and to Bar-Uli, my beloved daughter, I gave [it].'

The scene shows the king presenting the pendant to Bar-Uli. He has a typical Elamite hair style of a type depicted from as early as around 2000 BC.

Elam is the name given to the south-western part of Iran in antiquity. Shilhak-Inshushinak (about 1150-1120 BC) was the son of king Shutruk-Nahunte, who mounted a massive invasion of Babylonia, removed the reigning king and ransacked the country. Part of the huge booty included large stone monuments, such as the stela with Hammurabi's lawcode (now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris). Shilhak-Inshushinak left a very large number of inscriptions, which show that he retained control of much of the territory conquered by his father. Control over Babylonia, however, was relinquished.


  • Title: Chalcedony pendant
  • Date Created: -1199/-1100
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 4.00cm (maximum); Width: 2.80cm (maximum); Height: 3.00cm (maximum); Diameter: 0.30cm (of perforation); Weight: 50.50g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: pierced; engraved
  • Subject: king/queen; prince/princess
  • Registration number: 1919,0712.635
  • Place: Found/Acquired Iran, South West
  • Period/culture: Middle Elamite
  • Material: chalcedony
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from G

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