A very fine Egyptian gold amulet of a human hand pierced for suspension at the wrist. The details of the hand, such as individual fingers, have been rendered through delicately incised lines. The curving of the hand distinguishes that this amulet is of the right hand. There are some signs of aging on the surface. Amulets featuring the hand granted dexterity and power of manual activity to the bearer.
Date: Circa 1550-1070 BC Period: New Kingdom Period Condition: Very fine condition.
Amulets were popular in Ancient Egypt and were worn by the living or buried with the dead. The common word for amulet in the dynastic period was mkt, which means protector: amulets were designed to protect their owners. Amulets were usually modelled in the shape of specific deities or objects.
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 was 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.
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