Measurements: 4.6 cm height, 1.2 cm width


Description: An ancient Egyptian glazed faience amulet of light blue colour depicting Sekhmet, the lioness goddess of war, with rectangular dorsal pillar pierced for suspension. The goddess is presented striding with her left leg forward, wearing a tripartite wig that is partly covered by her mane, and a full-length dress. Her left arm is by her side and her right arm is bent and held to her body. In her right hand she holds a long papyrus sceptre, the wadj in ancient Egyptian, which symbolised new life and the concept of regeneration after death. Sekhmet is usually depicted as a lioness or a woman with the head of a lioness. Her name comes from the ancient Egyptian word sekhem, meaning 'power' or 'might', and means 'the one who is powerful'. In mythology, she is a savage who wanted to slaughter the human race and drink its blood; however, Ra prevented her. As a wife of Ptah, she was a part of the Memphis triad along with her son Nefertum. This item is pierced for suspension and therefore suitable for modern wear.


In ancient Egypt, amulets were worn in necklaces, bracelets, or rings, and placed amongst a mummy's bandages to ensure the deceased a safe and productive afterlife. Amulets depicting recognisable deities began to appear in the Middle Kingdom (2030-1650 BC), and the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC) showed a further increase in the range of amulet forms. By the Third Intermediate Period (1070-664 BC) and beyond there was an increase in the quality and diversity of amulets.


Reference: Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Museum of Fine Arts Boston

The British Museum


Period: 25th - 26th Dynasty, 8th - 6th century BC


Condition: Very fine, intact, with minor chipping and earthy encrustations over the whole.


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