Amulet, Djed pillar - 986x2.21.24_1


Amulet, Djed pillar

Medium:Glazed composition (black faience)
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 380-343 BC
Period: 30th Dynasty, Late Period
2.5 × 1 × 0.5 cm
Object number: 986X2.21.24
On view
Gallery Location:

The Djed pillar was an ancient symbol of endurance and stability whose origins go back to at least the First Dynasty. Some Egyptologists have seen it as a tree trunk with lopped off branches, others as a bunch of stalks tied together. Indeed, it resembles the display of sheaves of wheat that can still be seen at agricultural fairs. Its chief identification by the Ancient Egyptians, however, was with the vertebrate of Osiris. The image was often painted on the back of coffins, to give added strength and endurance to the deceased.

Spell 155 of the Book of the Dead recommends that a djed pillar of gold be placed at the throat of the deceased on the day of internment. However, a girdle of djed pillars is often found around the hips or genitals.

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