amulets were both symbolic and useful in ancient egypt, since they were thought to have apotropaic properties to shield or bestow strength on the wearer. amulets have been discovered within the wrappings of mummies, indicating that they were used to prepare the dead for the afterlife.
Depending on the nature or shape of amulets, they had various meanings. the benevolent abilities of the Deity seem to have been caused by small amulets representing gods and goddesses. tiny depictions of anatomical features or beings, on the other hand, indicate that the wearer needed protection over a certain body part or enjoyed the abilities of a certain species. animal-themed amulets were prevalent in the old kingdom, while deity-themed amulets were more common in the middle kingdom.
animals, to be precise
cobra is a snake
the uraeus cobra symbol is derived from the word ‘iaret,’ which means ‘risen one.’. the amulet may have been an symbol of royal and religious strength and legitimacy, as cobras growing up in defense were found on the front of the headdresses of gods and pharaohs.
the meaning is unknown, but it is believed to be related to either combat perseverance or a desire for the fecundity of a fly.
the origin is unclear, but they may have been associated with fertility due to their abundance in the egyptian desert.
the bearer of this amulet will have been blessed with lion-like ferocity and courage, as well as the lion’s presumed regenerative abilities.
scarab is a mythical creature
scarab beetle amulets were common in the middle kingdom, and were believed to represent the sun god ra. the scarab beetle rolling its ball of dung through the desert, according to the ancient egyptians, replicated the sun’s path through the sky from day to night. the beetle became a sign of renewal and growth because it lay its eggs in the dung.
vulture is a bird of prey
vulture amulets reflected the danger to be avoided rather than the animal’s desired trait. it’s possible that the anxiety was of being devoured in this situation.
sections of the body
when a living person wore an amulet representing a body part, it shielded that part of the body from injury or sickness, and when a dead person wore one, it symbolized physical harmony and the mummy’s dignity.
the heart, regarded as the most critical organ, was thought to be the seat of intellect and the source of emotion and motion. in the ritual of judgement with an and at, this was the organ that was weighed. single mummy’s chest has been discovered with heart amulets.
flowers and foliage
ancient egyptians used to grow flowers in their gardens. true flower heads were often strung together to be worn by mummies or the living, and although their exact meaning remains unclear, flower images and amulets were sometimes associated with new life.
shell of a cowroid
Based on the cowrie shell’s similarity to female genitalia, the cowroid was most likely meant as a pregnancy amulet. a longitudinal piercing may indicate that it was worn as part of a girdle over the pelvic region to ward off evil powers from the wearer, which may have been a pregnant woman.
daisy is a flower
daisies were used to help digestion and soothe the scalp. if this necklace was used by someone who was suffering from discomfort.
lotus is a flowering plant
the lotus symbolized life and rebirth. lotus flowers appear during the day and close at night, symbolizing the path of the god khepri, who created day and night by rolling the sun over the world.
miscellaneous and resources.
djed pillar is a pillar in djed
the djed pillar, worn on the lower torso or upper chest, represented resilience and stamina. its significance transferred to the backbone of osiris after it was first used to describe a pole to which grain was bound. âĢĺraise yourself up, osiris!âĢĻ says a spell in the book of the dead you’ve regained your neck, o weary-hearted one; you’ve regained your vertebrae!’
a wadj sceptre was a rolled papyrus scroll named after the hieroglyph for “new.”. this indicates that the amulet was used to protect the body while also representing new life and rebirth. Books 159 and 160 of the Book of the Dead refer to a Wadj amulet being placed at the throat of the mummy.