Measurements: length – 3.9 cm


Description: An ancient Egyptian glazed faience amulet of bright blue colour with traces of black pigment, depicting Isis nursing Horus on her lap. The goddess seated on a throne, wearing a tight-fitted garment and a tri-partite wig surmounted by a crown of an Uraeus, solar disc and cow-horns, her right hand to her side, and supporting the infant Horus with her left hand, who sits on her lap. An intact suspension loop is at the base of the crown.


During the first millennium BC, especially in the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, when the pharaohs of non-Egyptian origin supported the legitimacy of their power through enhancing associations with the divine, the cult of Isis spread widely not only throughout Egypt, but across the Mediterranean. This figure group is one of the most popular representations. Isis was worshipped as the mother of Horus, or Harpocrates in Greek tradition, who was considered the counterpart of the living pharaoh. By the Late Period she had adopted a number of traits from other deities such as the crown of goddess Hathor, her sister. Such amulets became prolific by the Late Period and likely had an apotropaic function.


Reference: J. L. Myres, Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus, New York, 1914, no. 4476

The Metropolitan Museum


Period: Late Period, 7th – 4th century BC


Condition: Very fine, intact. Minor encrustations on the surface.

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