A large Egyptian Basalt Headrest Amulet, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
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Before the Third Intermediate Period, headrest amulets are found only in royal burials; Tutankhamen owned one of iron, as did Prince Hornakht and King Sheshonq II at Tanis. However, from the Saite Period onward, they are made almost exclusively of hematite or of another dark-colored substitute such as basalt (such as this large example), serpentine, obsidian, or diorite.
It was essentially intended to magically raise up the head of the deceased in resurrection, just as the sun god was raised above the eastern horizon each morning. However, Chapter 166 further reveals that it would also prevent the deceased head from being cut off, a much-feared fate against which Chapter 43 was specifically directed.
Dimensions: Height: 7/8 inch (2.2 cm), Length: 1 1/4 inches (3 cm)
Condition: Overall intact and in very good condition
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.