In Egyptian culture and mythology the heart (ib) was perceived as the most important organ, the seat of intelligence that decided all feelings and actions. It was believed that the heart was weighed in the afterlife, at the Weighing of the Heart Ceremony, and its balance determined the worthiness of the individual and if they may proceed to the Egyptian paradise. These heart amulets would have been worn as protection for the beholder’s in death, used exclusively for mummies. The amulet became so important that it was bestowed on every mummy until the end of the Pharaonic Period. Many heart amulets were fashioned from red carnelian because it was considered to hold magical healing properties; the Book of the Dead states this was the ideal material.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.