An Ancient Egyptian dark grey faience amulet depicting the Osirian triad, Nephthys, Horus and Isis, standing side-by-side on an integral plinth against a back pillar. Horus is at the centre, flanked by his mother Isis on his left and his aunt Nephthys on his right. Isis is identified by the stepped throne hieroglyph on her head, one of her symbols as the Ancient Egyptians believed she was the personification of the throne, and likewise Nephthys wears the two hieroglyphic components of her name, a house and a basket, as a headdress. The goddesses act as protectors of Horus, who is shown slightly larger than them, but his sidelock and nudity identify him as a child. The amulet features a top suspension loop and is flat backed.
Date: Circa 664–525 BC Period: 26th Dynasty Condition: Very fine, intact, some encrustation on the surface.
These three deities make up the Osirian triad, which was very popular during the 26th Dynasty, from the great myth in Egyptian funerary religion. Horus, the young boy in the centre, was the son of Osiris. His uncle Seth tried to kill him in order to become king of the gods, but Horus was saved by the magical skill and cunning of his mother, Isis. Nepthys, Horus’ aunt, aided her sister in his escape. Because both goddesses were magicians, they were excellent protectors of the vulnerable mummy. Amulets such as this were generally placed on the lower torso of the deceased. Depictions of deities in amulet form also had widespread popularity for many thousands of years in ancient Egypt, as it was a common way of invoking the assistance or protection of a particular god. The nature of this assistance can often be determined by the gods’ particular spheres of influence.