An Egyptian Blue Glazed Wadj Amulet, Late Period, ca. 700 - 332 BCE
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Known in Egyptian as a wadj, this papyrus-column amulet is made from green glazed faience, and has a pierced suspension ring at the top. Green fresh plant life represented youthfulness, new life and rebirth to the Egyptians, and the presence of this particular amulet on the body was to ensure that the deceased remained forever young, and was not injured. Both Chapters 159 and 160 concern a papyrus column of feldspar to be placed at the throat of the deceased: 'If it is sound, I am healthy; if it is undamaged, I am uninjured; if it is not struck, I am unwounded . .. my limbs shall not become dried out.'
A papyrus scepter was often carried by goddesses and the plant was the emblem of Lower Egypt and its patroness Wadjyt; hence its amuletic form not only guaranteed the wearer rejuvenation, it also linked them with the divine and in particular one of the great protective goddesses.
Condition: the amulet is intact and in excellent condition overall. It has been restrung as a pendant on an adjustable 18" modern chain of 18K yellow gold.
Dimensions: Height: 1 1/4 inches (3 cm)
Provenance: Private collection of Geoffrey Metz, Uppsala University, Sweden, acquired from the English trade in the 1990s.