An ancient Egyptian amulet in dark blue glazed faience, rendered in the form of Anubis. The deity is shown striding with his left leg forward, as he keeps his elongated arms stiff at his sides. Such a stance, known as the ‘left foot forward’ stance, is one of the oldest standing figure types in Ancient Egyptian art. Later adopted and developed in Ancient Greece, it set the basis for the evolution of dynamism in sculptural art. A royal wig frames his zoomorphic face, flowing down his back into the pillar he rests against. The reverse of the amulet has a loop for suspension.
Date: 664–30 BC Period: Late Period–Ptolemaic Period Condition: Very fine condition.
Anubis was associated primarily with the afterlife – he was the god of embalming bodies, and had an important role in the transition between life and death. He ushered souls into the afterlife, and tended to the weighing scale during the Weighing of the Heart – the ceremony that determined whether a soul would be allowed to enter the realm of the dead. Perhaps the wearer of this amulet was hoping for protection not only in the afterlife, but in the liminal space between the living and the dead.
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