Scarabs, papyri, gods and animals were the most used amulets in ancient Egypt. At first they were used only in funerery rituals but then they started to be used also as protection against illnesses and wild animals.
The material was truly important. Different features corresponded to different materials.
GOLD: was tha most valuable metal, symbol of the Sun and the god Ra.
SILVER: symbol of purity whose meaning was linked to the Moon.
LAPIS LAZULI: symbol of the water and youthful vitality.
RED SEMIPRECIOUS STONES (cornelian, jasper, coral): symbolized the blood and the cycle of life and death (with important liks with the rebirth)
The most common Egyptian amulets were:
Scarabs are undoubtedly the most used amulet in ancient Egypt. They were worn both by the livind and the mummies, in particular a scarab amulet called "the Heart Scarab" was put on the dead's chest during the process of mummification. The scarab symbolized the god Ra and the cycle of death and rebirth.
A cornelian scarab is in our Virtual Museum.
HORUS EYE (WEDJAT)
The Horus eye was very common in ancient Egypt.
Two types had two different meanings:
- right-looking and white: symbolized the Sun and the god Ra;
- left-looking and black: symbolized the Moon and the god Osiris.
A Wedjat amulet is in our Virtual Museum.
The papyrus amulet was worn both by living and dead. It was often green or blue (the most common materials were Egyptian faience and lapis lazuli) and symbolized vitality and youthful force.
A papyrus amulet is in our Virual Museum.
It is one of the most important symbol af the ancient Egypt. The Ankh (or the cross of the life) was the direct symbol of life and rebirth. It was often with the dead and drove him in the voyage to the afterlife but also used as a pendant.
The frog was a sacred animal in Egyptian culture, it was linked to the creation of the world.
Wearing a frog amulet was thought to give fertility.
The god Bes was a grotesque dwarf. Its amulets protected the homes from evil eye and evil spirits. The god Bes was also the protector of all the dancers, the pregnant women ad the babies.