EGYPTIAN CARNELIAN COWRY SHELL AMULET
Measurements: 1.6 cm - length
Description: An unusual Ancient Egyptian carnelian amulet in the shape of a cowry shell. The amulet is modelled on both sides and features a longitudinal hole for suspension.
The Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. Such items had a decorative and aesthetic purpose, but also a practical one, as they were believed to bring protection upon the wearer. Cowry shells had many uses and purposes in ancient times, especially in Ancient Egypt. Here women were highly valued for their ability to conceive children. In order to protect their fertility for the future, girls and young women wore cowrie amulets. They would also be worn during pregnancy and childbirth, as a protection against the evil eye, an evil spirit known to haunt mother and babies, that was blamed for miscarriages and death. Because of their shape, cowrie shells were seen as representing female genitalia as well as the round belly of pregnant women.
Period: Late Dynastic Period, 664-332 BC
Condition: Very fine.