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* An Egyptian Nefer Heart Amulet, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE

EA1632

a fine carved heart amulet of grey basalt with two delicate wings on either side.

For the ancient Egyptians, the heart (ib) was the source of intelligence, feelings, and actions. A person's memory was also housed in the heart and so at the judgment ceremony (Weighing of the Heart) in the afterlife, the heart was able to speak on behalf of the deceased, accounting to Osiris for a lifetime of deeds. Therefore, heart amulets were only used on the mummy to protect the owner's organ and to ensure that their heart gave a positive response at judgment.  It served as a symbol of triumph of purity and wisdom over death and corruption.

Bibliography:  Sousa, R. (2007). The Meaning of the Heart Amulets in Egyptian Art. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, 43, 59-70.

Dimensions: Height: 1 inch  (2.5 cm)

Condition: Intact and in excellent condition overall

Provenance: Ex. Hawthorne Collection, formed prior to 1970, Pasadena, CA.


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