Heart Inlay

M11954
Inlay of blue glass made in the shape of the heart-shaped hieroglyph, taking the form of a jar with lug handles, perhaps representing veins and arteries. The original surface colour is now very faded, though may be seen through a small break on the reverse (aqua blue). One side is flat and plain, suggesting this was for decorative inlaid relief. 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).