Around 3000 BC, at the dawn of the Pharaonic civilization shells were already imitated in precious metal and various kinds of stone. The most beautiful object is a large gold powder-box in the shape of a Pecten shell, found in the tomb of a Third Dynasty king at Saqqara (about 2650 BC). Under the Twelfth Dynasty (1991-1786 BC) cowries were imitated in gold and used as parts of the girdles of royal princesses, and a bivalve, inappropriately called an ""oyster"", was probably awarded to military officers who had distinguished themselves in battle or even worn as a badge by members of the royal bodyguard. They were imitated in gold, silver and electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) and richly decorated with precious stones in very complex designs, or miniaturized for use as amulets in the necklaces of royal and noble women.