An Egyptian polished carnelian amulet shaped as a heart, known as Ib in Ancient Egyptian. The amulet features a suspension loop to the top. The Ancient Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. Amulets were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife.
Date: Circa 1353-1336 BC Period: New Kingdom Condition: Excellent condition.
Despite the fact that the Egyptians did not have access to the medical knowledge we have today, they were aware of the importance of the heart in the functioning of the body. This led to beliefs that the heart was the source of wisdom and emotion, and heart symbolism became an important part of Egyptian culture. Perhaps most significant was its role in the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ ceremony, where the hearts of the dead were weighed against the feather of Ma’at to ascertain the purity and virtue of the deceased and decide their destination in the afterlife.