An Egyptian Menkhet Counterpoise Amulet, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
The identification of an amulet unique to private burials of the Late Dynastic and Graeco-Roman Period, which appears to guarantee clothing to the deceased, has been much discussed by scholars. It resembles a particular type of hoop-shaped counterpoise with a fringed edge named in the MacGregor Papyrus list as a menkhet. There may be a pun on the word menkhet, meaning 'clothing', although this is written differently in hieroglyphs.
However, from the New Kingdom onwards, an apparently identical shape with the sound-value 'pr' (aper) is used to write words meaning 'equipped' or 'furnished with' and, by extension, 'equipment', so perhaps it actually represents an elaborate apron. The preferred materials are dark stones such as diorite, such as this example, quartzite or porphyry.
Ref: Andrews, Carol, 1994. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. Austin: University of Texas. p. 97.
Condition: The amulet is intact and in very good condition overall.
Dimensions: Height: 3/4 inch (1.9 cm)
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.
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