The combination of hieroglyphs and the phrasing seen on this piece was used in the Throne Name of Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great. He was the son of Seti I and a 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom pharaoh. He is considered the greatest of the New Kingdom pharaohs, the golden age of Egypt’s Empire. His successors labelled him the ‘Great Ancestor’ so great were his achievements. He was known for his military successes, building on the foundations of his father Seti I, across Syria, Lybia and Nubia. As well as being a strong military campaigner, Ramesses is known for his vast architectural feats, building statues and temple complexes, the Ramasseum and Abu Simbel being the most illustrious. The colossal statue of Ramesses still exists to this day and can be found in the Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza.
Gazelles, antelopes and ibexes were often depicted within Egyptian art. They were a symbol of ‘the hunt’, a prey animal depicted in offering lists. Perhaps amulets such as this example were meant for use as a food source in the afterlife. It seems antelopes were also associated with varying properties and deities, but do not have a distinct connection. From the Old Kingdom the animal was associated with the god Seth, amulets such as this might have meant to ward of the malevolent powers of the evil god. The deity Satis, a hunting and fertility goddess, was often depicted wearing a crown with antelope horns. Whilst the god Sokar, a complex chthonic and afterlife deity, was depicted with a barque featuring an antelope head at its prow. The barque represented the triumph of the sun.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.