About this object

Amulet carved from a black stone (basalt?) in the shape of the heart-shaped hieroglyph, taking the form of a jar with lug handles, perhaps representing veins and arteries. There is a pierced suspension loop at the top. Heart-shaped amulets were believed to protect the wearer's heart from both physical and spiritual harm both in life and after death. Spell 29b in the Book of the Dead states that such amulets should ideally be carved from the red-coloured stone carnelian. In the ancient Egyptian language the word heart (ib) appears in the expression for a close friend, “one who has entered the heart” (ak-ib).

One of thirty-two amulets removed from a mummy on 8 December 1966 at Aintree University Hospital, Merseyside. The mummy was in a damaged state and it's accession history had been lost so the museum decided to cut it apart to remove the amulets that were revealed by X-ray in 1966. This is one of four heart-shaped amulets originally strung together, but only fragments of the thread survived. It was positioned lying on the breast of the mummified man in the thoracic region.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Ptolemaic
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date made
    332 BC - 30 BC about
  • Materials
    Basalt
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Source currently unrecorded
  • Collector
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt
  • Date collected
    1966 before
  • Measurements
    x 13 mm x 24 mm

Explore related

Publications

  • Egyptian Mummies in the City of Liverpool Museums

    Peter Gray and Dorothy Slow

    Author: Peter Gray and Dorothy Slow
    Publisher: Liverpool Corporation
    Date: 1968
    Description: Results of 1967 X Rays of the mummies in Liverpool Museum (now World Museum).

  • Gifts of The Nile: Ancient Egyptian Arts and Crafts in Liverpool Museum

    Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela

    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela
    Publisher: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
    Date: 1995
    Description: A 130 page illustrated book that focuses on the Egyptian antiquities in World Museum's collections to provide a colourful introduction to the land and its culture in the Pharaonic period. An appendix explains the history of the collection and includes information about the Lady Lever Art Gallery Egyptian collection, which is also part of National Museums Liverpool.

Object view = Humanities
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