An ancient Egyptian double-sided green faience amulet of the dwarf-god Ptaikos, portrayed squatting with his legs bent out to the sides and hands clasped on his protruding stomach. His head is disproportionally large, emphasising the exaggerated facial features. A suspension loop for attachment protrudes to the rear of the neck. The ancient Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. Amulets were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife.
Date: Circa 1090–900 BC Period: Third Intermediate Period Condition: Extremely fine, complete and intact. Some earthly encrustations remain on the surface.
The god Ptaikos is so-called after a passage in Herodotus, which describes the protection-possessing power belonging to the image of a Phoenician dwarf. He was known as the son of Ptah, the craftsman’s god. In Old Kingdom scenes depicting daily life, dwarfs were always present among the workers in precious metal workshops. Ptaikos became very popular from the New Kingdom onwards, often shown holding snakes, making them harmless to people and children, and therefore was thought to provide protection against snakes and crocodiles.
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