Ancient Egyptian Faience Thoth Baboon Amulet

£ 250.00

An ancient Egyptian amuletic pendant crafted in faience and depicting the god, Thoth, in his baboon form. The deity appears seated with forepaws on his knees, as his legs are bent beneath him, with his shoulders to the chest. The amulet shows the discoid plaque, or lunar headdress, behind the head. Thoth was closely associated with time keeping and accurate measuring, so held a key role in ensuring that time passed at the correct speed, in accordance with the movements of the moon. The reverse features a suspension loop.

Date: Circa 305 - 30 BC
Period: Ptolemaic Period
Condition: Fine condition, some wear of the detailing consistent with age.

In stock

SKU: MG-355 Category: Tags: ,

The Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. They were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many of the amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife.

Thoth was an important Egyptian deity, who was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or baboon, as these were his sacred animals. When represented as a baboon (the less usual of the two forms, adding to the rarity of this amulet), he was A’an – the god of equilibrium. His role as A’an was important in the afterlife and during the liminal phase beforehand. At the ceremony in which the deceased heart was weighed against the feather of Maat, it was the responsibility of A’an to ensure that the two were level, thereby allowing the deceased to proceed into the underworld.

Amulets held different meanings, depending on their type or form. Small amulets depicting gods and goddesses seem to have induced the protective powers of the deity. On the other hand, small representations of anatomical features or creatures suggest that the wearer required protection over a specific body part, or that he/she desired the skills of a particular animal. Amulets depicting animals were very common in the Old Kingdom Period, whilst representations of deities gained popularity in the Middle Kingdom. Perhaps this amulet aided the wearer in the afterlife, or endowed him/her with other attributes of Thoth, such as language and accuracy.

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

Weight 0.46 g
Dimensions L 0.55 x H 1.7 cm


Egyptian Mythology


Reference: For a similar item, please see The Metropolitan Museum, item 10.130.1940

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