Egyptian Red Stone Heart Amulet

Egyptian Red Stone Heart Amulet

An ancient Egyptian red stone amulet representing a human heart as a vessel.

Late Period, ca. 700-30 BC.
Height: 22 mm.

The Egyptians believed the heart to be the most essential organ. Chapters 27 to 29 of the Book of the Dead provide instructions for preserving one's heart in the Afterlife. The heart, which was believed to be the seat of one?s intellect, was depicted as a vessel. This vessel, the Book of the Dead informs, was to be balanced against the weight of a feather in order to gain entrance into the realm of Osiris.
The Egyptian amulet, as with nearly all objects that accompanied the dead into the afterlife, was of magical significance. The heart amulet was intended to insure that one?s heart would remain with them in the afterlife. First found in the 18th Dynasty, by the Late Period the heart amulet was one of the most common funerary amulets. It was often worn during life as well.

Confer: C. Andrews, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, (Texas, 1994), p. 72-3.

Formerly in a German private collection.

Inv#: 6650


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