Ancient Egyptian Carnelian Heart Amulet

$217.48

A fine Ancient Egyptian heart amulet modelled from carnelian and showcasing a varying spectrum of light yellow and orange hues. The amulet is pierced at the top for suspension, earthy encrustation is visible around the neck and the body.

Date: Circa 1070-945 BC
Period: Third Intermediate Period
Condition: Very fine condition

SOLD

SKU: HY-11 Category:

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. Other red stones such as jasper and granite, as well as green feldspar and blue lapis lazuli. Green was a colour associated with new vegetation and new life, whilst blue was association with the reviving waters of the Nile. Hardstones were also preferable as they had connotations of lasting for eternity.

To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.

Weight 0.41 g
Dimensions L 1.2 x W 0.5 cm
Culture

Semi-Precious Stones

Region

Reference: For a similar item, please seeThe Metropolitan Museum, item 25.3.169d