Amulet, wadjet eye - 910.46.384_1


Amulet, wadjet eye

Medium:Glazed composition (faience)
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: 500-300 BC
2.9 × 2.2 × 0.7 cm
Object number: 910.46.384
Not on view

The wadjet eye was the most popular of Egyptian amulets, found in great numbers amid mummy wrappings (as this example), but also worn in life. Wadjet amulets are known from all periods, from the Old Kingdom to late Roman times. This one dates to the period of Persian occupation.

The wadjet 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 Lanner 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 Wadjet 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 wadjet 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 wadjet eye, is mentioned in Spells 140 and 167 of The Book of the Dead. It was commonly placed at the neck of the mummy or sewn into the bandages.

If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.