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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Miscellaneous : Faience Amulet of Horus
Faience Amulet of Horus - PF.5795
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 750 BC to 250 BC
Dimensions: 1.25" (3.2cm) high
Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Faience

Location: United States
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Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky, is a familiar ancient Egyptian god. He has become one of the most commonly used symbols of Egypt, seen on airplanes, hotels and restaurants throughout the land. Son of Osiris and Isis, divine child of the holy family triad, his name means "he who is above" and "he who is distant." For centuries, the falcon had been worshipped as a cosmic deity, the supreme master of the sky, whose body represents the heavens and whose eyes represent the sun and the moon.

According to the story of Isis and Osiris, Horus was conceived by Isis from the resurrected soul of her husband Osiris and brought up to avenge his father's murder at the hands of his uncle Seth. Upon successfully subduing Seth, he reclaimed his rightful inheritance, the throne of Egypt. As a result, Horus is associated with the title of kingship, the personification of divine and regal power and is often depicted wearing a crown with a cobra or the Double Crown of unified Egypt, the pharaoh’s crown. In his honor, every successive king was seen as the embodiment of Horus and was seated on a throne guarded by the falcon's outspread wings.

This diminutive statuette is a masterpiece of intricacy. One truly needs an optical aid to fully appreciate the subtle details and minute carving of this sculpture. Originally, this ancient statuette would have been worn as a pendant hung on a chain, as is evident from the drilled hole in the back. Perhaps this amulet once graced the neck of the pharaoh himself or part of his immediate family. Surely, given the symbolic significance of Horus and the absolute mastery of the carving, this pendant was worn only by a highest-ranking member of Ancient Egyptian society. Certain objects, masterpieces treasured in their own time, are of an eternal beauty that is easily appreciated regardless of era or culture. This amulet is one such stunning example, a reminder of the tremendous splendor humanity is able to create when at the apex of a great civilization.
- (PF.5795)


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