Horus was one of the most significant Ancient Egyptian deities. He is most commonly depicted with the head of a falcon, and the body of a man. Horus was a sun and moon deity, and it was said that his right eye was the sun, and the left was the moon. The eye of Horus, also known as ‘Wedjat’, was an ancient symbol of protection, particularly for the afterlife, and was also used to deflect evil. It was highly influential in Egyptian life, with ancient sailors painting the image on the bow of their vessels to ward off evil.
There are six key parts to the Eye of Horus and each has its own value: the eyebrow represents thought; the pupil stands for sight; the triangle between the pupil and the white of the eye is hearing, whereas the white of the eye is smell; the spiral curve, or tail, represents taste; and the teardrop is touch.
Amulets in this shape were very popular in ancient Egypt, from the Old Kingdom to Roman times. They were worn by the living and also buried with the dead, as their apotropaic significance suited both.
To discover more about amulets in the Ancient Egyptian world, please visit our relevant post: Amulets in Ancient Egypt.