Egyptian Beaded Necklace with Carnelian Heart Amulets


A beautiful Egyptian restrung necklace, composed of green faience beads, alternated with cylindrical-shaped red carnelian beads. The necklace is further enriched by alternating red carnelian heart amulets and an unusually large heart amulet that centres the necklace.

Date: New Kingdom, 16th to 11th century BC
Provenance: The faience beads come from a collection of beads discovered by Flinders Petrie at Gurob. The carnelian beads come from the Foxwell collection.
Condition: Good condition. The beads show differentiation.


SKU: MO-59 Category:

The heart was considered by the Egyptians to be the most important organ, not because it pumped blood around the body, but because it was the seat of intelligence and the origin of all feelings and actions. The heart became one of the most important of all amulets and was set on the torso of every mummy, deemed to protect the heart of the beholder. Furthermore, the heart acted as the store of an individual’s memory, and so at the judgment ceremony (Weighing of the Heart) in the afterlife, the heart could speak on the behalf of the deceased. As the heart accounted to Osiris for a lifetime of deeds, protection of the organ with an amulet was necessary to ensure that it could give a positive response at judgment.

Recent research on mummies has found that many suffered from atherosclerosis – a build up of fat and calcium in the arteries, which is thought to have been a significant killer in ancient Egypt. Perhaps this amulet suggests ancient awareness of the condition and its connection with the heart, with the wearer desiring the amulet’s appropriate protective powers.

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

Weight 11.6 g
Dimensions L 34 cm

Semi-Precious Stones



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