EGYPTIAN HEART AMULET
Measurements: 1.7 cm -height
Description: An Ancient Egyptian hardstone amulet in the form of a heart. For the ancient Egyptians, the heart was the source of intelligence, feelings, and actions. A person's memory was also housed in the heart and so at the judgment ceremony (Weighing of the Heart) in the afterlife, the heart was able to speak on behalf of the deceased, accounting to Osiris for a lifetime of deeds. Therefore, heart amulets were used on the mummy to protect the owner's organ and to ensure that his heart gave a positive response at judgment.
Across the ancient world, there are a number of pieces that would have been worn by their owners for the sake of protection, primarily amulets. Jewellery of this apotropaic nature most often takes shape in the form of pendants, and we find them in abundance from a number of civilisations, especially Egypt. These amulets covered a broad range of subjects in their iconography.
Period: New Kingdom – Late Dynastic Period, 1550 – 664 BC
Condition: Fine, with stress cracks visible and earthly encrustations to the surface. Restored.
Provenance: Ex. Private Collection, and acquired in the 1930’s – 40’s.