Amulet, double cartouche of Seti I - ROM2017_16067_9


Amulet, double cartouche of Seti I

Medium:Glazed composition (faience), mould-made
Geography: Serabit el-Khadim, Sinai, Egypt
Date: c. 1295-1186 BC
Period: 19th Dynasty, Ramesside Period, New Kingdom
1.9 cm
Object number: 906.16.113
Not on view

What we call a ‘cartouche’ was known in Ancient Egypt as a shen.  It represents a length of papyrus rope, with the ends folded over each other at the bottom, encircling a sacred space. This shape carries the connotation of protection for whatever is within.  By the Old Kingdom, two of the king’s five names were written within a shen. The names in this shen, though broken, can be recognized as those of the Nineteenth Dynasty pharaoh Seti I.

Such inexpensive souvenirs of the king were handed out in considerable numbers at festivals. Afterward, it might have been worn as an amulet in life, and later sewn into mummy wrappings to protect the deceased on his or her long journey into the Afterlife.

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