Amulet, Horus - 990x2.6_3


Amulet, Horus

Medium:Glazed composition (faience)
Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
2.3 x 0.9 cm
Object number: 990X2.6
Not on view

This amulet represents the god Horus, manifest as a hawk. Horus was one of the oldest Egyptian gods.  His name, Her in Egyptian, means ‘the distant one.’ A hawk is usually seen high in the sky, surveying the world, ready to stoop in a moment to snatch his prey.  Likewise the god, and the king who was the god’s earthly manifestation, could observe the world, and move swiftly to action. 

The rectangular element on the bird's back may be a symbol of earthly power, a flagellum; larger, more elaborate images of the hawk often had an actual miniature flagellum at his side to show his regality and perhaps to distinguish him from other gods who might manifest as hawks, such as Re and Sokar

This particular amulet's last use was mortuary, as its loop for suspension is on the bottom.  A loop in this position is suitable for attaching the amulet to a bead net on a mummy’s chest, but not for wearing. It's possible that what appears to be a worn flagellum on the bird's back is actually the remnant of a loop that would have enabled it to have been orginally worn in life.

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