An Ancient Egyptian dark turquoise blue faience amulet of the god Pataikos. The amulet shows Pataikos resting his hands before his protruding stomach. His legs are bent out to the sides and his head is disproportionately large. His facial features are also unusually large and exaggerated. The reverse has been smoothed, but is otherwise undecorated. The suspension hole runs horizontally through the God’s neck.
Date: Circa 664-332 BC Period: Late Period Condition: Extremely fine, with signs of ageing.
The god Pataikos 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. The finest images of Pataikos date to the Third Intermediate period, and later Pataikos figures often held snakes, which made them harmless to people, especially vulnerable children. Pataikos was very popular from the New Kingdom onwards, providing protection from creatures like snakes and crocodiles.
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