The vulture was the symbol for the goddess Nekhbet, was the protector of Upper Egypt, and was known as one of ‘The Two Ladies’ with her sister, the goddess and protector of Lower Egypt. The Two Ladies name signified the pharaoh’s dominion over both Lower and Upper Egypt. Nekhbet was also the protector of the royal children and expectant mothers. Amulets were worn by the ancient Egyptians for protective and decorative purposes. They often depicted deities, symbols, or body parts in the belief that they could evoke protection or certain beneficial qualities. For the Egyptians, gold was the most precious of materials. Its colour signified divinity; it was the metal from which the flesh of the gods was formed; and the Book of the Dead demanded that all amulets be made from it. Egypt is a land rich in gold, and ancient miners used traditional methods to harbour the natural resource. The hieroglyph representing gold was founded in the First Dynasty, but the earliest surviving gold artefacts come from around the 4th Millennium BC.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.