Amulet, plaque, ankh - ROM2016_15062_17


Amulet, plaque, ankh

Medium:Glazed composition (faience)
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 332 BC-100 AD
Period: Ptolemaic to early Roman Period
1.4 × 1.2 × 0.2 cm
Object number: 948.34.193
Credit Line: Gift of Sir Robert Mond
Not on view

This small broken amulet is the embodiment of a powerful prayer.  The central sign is an ankh which represents life.  Facing toward the ankh are two w3s scepters, which stand for power.  Missing from the bottom is a basket shape, representing the word nb which suggested ‘all,’ ‘lord of’ and ‘possessor of.’  Thus the amulet is a mantra –“May (the person) possess life and power.”  This arrangement of glyphs can be found on the bottom of coffins, around furniture, and in jewelry.  This little amulet still has part of the suspension loop at top which enabled it to be worn or sewn into the wrappings of a mummy.

The w3s sceptres have been slightly personified, so that their 'arms' can reach out to join with and support the ankh.

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