Egyptian Faience Djed Pillar Amulet
An ancient Egyptian green faience amulet of a Djed pillar, representing the Hieroglyphic sign of Djed, meaning stability or endurance, with a suspension loop behind.
Late Period, ca. 700-30 BC.
The Egyptian amulet, as with nearly all objects that accompanied the dead into the afterlife, was of magical significance. The Djed pillar was believed to be an especially potent amulet, insuring one?s ability to begin anew in the Afterlife. The Djed pillar was initially associated with the funerary god Sokaris, revered at Memphis. Later the symbol and the ceremony of ritually raising the Djed pillar became associated with Ptah, and finally with the underworld god, Osiris. The Book of the Dead, chapter 155, mentions the words that were to be spoken when the Djed amulet was placed (strung on a fiber of sycamore) upon the deceased?s throat. The text goes on to invoke Osiris? resurrection, and compare the Djed pillar with the spine of Osiris. The Djed pillar was one of the most common funerary amulets, often dozens were found strung around the mummy.
cf.: C. Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, (Texas, 1994), p. 82. no. 83, p. 98, no. 99.
Formerly in the collection of Luigi Vassali, (1812-1887), Italy, gift of Horace L. Mayer Tomfa.