Ancient Egyptian Carnelian Heart Amulet Bead

Description
Ancient Egyptian Carnelian Heart Amulet Bead
Circa 1550-1070 BC, New Kingdom Period

An Egyptian heart-shaped amulet made from carnelian, with a suspension hoop at the top, which allows the hanging of the amulet around the neck.

To the ancient Egyptians, the heart (ib) was the most important of organs. They believed it to be the organ responsible for all human thought, feeling and interaction. Thus, it was the heart that was weighed and measured against the feather of Maat in the ‘Weighing of the heart ceremony’. It was also the only organ to be left within the deceased when they died.

The importance of the heart can be seen from the number of passages within the Book of the Dead. Chapter 29b specifically mentions the use of a heart shaped amulet, of sehert-stone (carnelian). Whilst carnelian heart amulets were the most popular, other materials were used.

Measurements: circa 1.2cm length

Provenance: Ex UK Collection, 1920s-1940s.

Lot details
Culture
Ancient Egyptian
Material
Carnelian
Object
Heart Amulet Bead
Century/ Timeframe
Circa 1550-1070 BC, New Kingdom Period
Condition
Good Condition, See Photo
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