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EA1542

An Egyptian Steatite Fly Amulet, New Kingdom, 1539-1077 BC

Blue-glazed steatite with incised detail to the head and wings.  

An amulet with a long history, already found in burials of the predynastic burials is the stylized fly. Recognizable from its characteristic wing configuration even when the head is not clearly distinguished. During the New Kingdom, fine gold flies formed part of an honorific award that originally awarded military valor. But the symbolism of the fly as an amulet rather than an award is still obscure. Perhaps the wearer hoped to emulate its renowned fecundity; perhaps it was purely apotropaic, intended to keep at bay this most persistent and prevalent of Egyptian insects. see: Andrews, Carol 'Amulets of Ancient Egypt', University of Texas Press (1994), pg 62-63.

Dimensions:Height: 1/4 x 1/4 in. (0.6 x 0.6 cm)

Condition:Intact and in excellent condition overall.

Provenance:On loan to the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta Ga from 1998 - 2015, loan number: L1998.062.105

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