Amulet, wadjet eye - 910.46.171_2


Amulet, wadjet eye

Medium:Glazed composition (faience), mould-made
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Period: Undetermined Period
2 x 3 cm
Object number: 910.46.171
Not on view

The wedjat eye was the most popular of Egyptian amulets, found in great numbers amid mummy wrappings, but also worn in life.  Wedjat amulets are known from all periods, from the Old Kingdom to late Roman times.

The blue eye, whose Egyptian name means 'the sound one' or 'the healthy one,' represents the eye of the falcon-headed god, Horus.  The markings underneath the eye resemble the markings around the eyes of the Lanier falcon, who may have been the early model for Horus.  In one story, Horus' eye was ripped out by his uncle Seth during a battle.  The eye was magically restored by the god Thoth, who can be depicted holding the eye.  In another story, the Wedjat is the eye of Horus-the-Elder, whose right eye was the sun, and whose left eye was the moon.  The moon could be seen as injured, waxing and waning, and as an eye in need of healing.  On the other hand, the wedjat would represent the sun, the 'healthy' eye.  After the god Osiris rose to prominence at the end of the Old Kingdom, the eye was usually identified as the eye of his son, Horus. 

The Sacred Eye, depicted as a wedjat eye, is mentioned in Spells 140 and 167 of The Book of the Dead. Although this eye is small, it is beautifully made with clear black markings.  It is pierced longitudinally, through the 'eyebrow' for suspension. 

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