Heart Amulet

M11957bb
Polished red jasper stone amulet made in the shape of the heart-shaped hieroglyphtaking the form of a jar with lug handles, perhaps representing veins and arteries. There is an unpierced suspension loop at the top. Chipped in several places. 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).