An Egyptian Diorite Heart Amulet, Late Period, ca. 664 - 332 BCE
To the Egyptians the heart was the most essential of organs, not because it pumped blood around the body - it is unclear that they understood this function - but because they believed it was the seat of intelligence, the originator of all feelings and actions, and the storehouse of memory. From the New Kingdom, the heart became one of the most important of all amulets and was set on every mummy until the end of the Pharaonic period, often in numbers and usually on the upper torso. This excellent example, carved from black and white diorite, held connotations of lasting for eternity.
cf: Andrews, Carol "Amulets of Ancient Egypt," 1994. p. 72-73
Dimensions: Height: 7/8 inch (2.1 cm)
Condition: Overall intact and in excellent condition.
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.
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