In ancient civilizations and cultures the relationship between religion and art is so tight and essential that they may be considered synonymous, or at least essentially intrinsic to each other. Though what may be considered decorative forms, or domestic subjects, are present in ancient art, it appears that the fundamental function of art is to take shape of the forms and ideas of the religious mind. In this manner art is essential tool in mediating the development of religious ideas as well as their instantiation in physical reality. Hence, depictions of deities are extremely popular subjects throughout all cultures, many of which may be explicitly involved in ritual actions; for example, it was widely common to believe that that a statue was, in a ritualistic context, literally embodying the deity in question. Similarly, amulets may be seen as possessing the qualities and powers of an associated deity, ensuring their presence and casting protection upon the wearer.