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