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Amulet in the form of eye of Horus (Udjat)

Amulet in the form of eye of Horus (Udjat)
© BA Antiquities Museum/M. Mounir

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 1071

Inv.Inventory
 (Monthu storeroom) 804

where to find


showcase 4

Amulet in the form of eye of Horus (Udjat)

Category:
  • Religious / Cult objects, amulets, eye of Horus (udjat)
  • Tomb equipment, amulets, eye of horus (udjat)
Date:
Ancient Egyptian period, Late Period (664-332 BCE)
Provenance:
Unknown
Material(s):
Man made material, faience
Hall:
In the Afterlife, showcase 4


Description

Amulet in the shape of a right udjat

Udjat Amulet

The udjat amulet is first found in the later Old Kingdom and continued to be produced until the Roman Period. It is the best-known of all protective amulets and was found in greater numbers on mummies than any other amulets. It could also be worn in life. The udjat (the sound one) refers to the eye of Horus the Elder, the Celestial falcon and great creator god whose right eye was the sun and left eye the moon. It is usually considered to represent the left "lunar" eye of Horus, plucked by Seth and then restored by Thoth – a reference to the moon being "injured" as it wanes and "restored" as it waxes each month. Yet, the term might also apply to the right "solar" eye that was never injured.
At its most basic shape, the udjat is a human eye with eye brow, but beneath the eye it has a drop and a curl to imitate the markings on the head of the lanner falcon.
According to the Osiris myth, Horus offered the healed eye to his dead father and so powerful as a charm it was that it restored him to life. This explains the role of the udjat in the funeral ritual which is to ensure the revitalization of the deceased and the continuation of good health in the afterlife. The udjat was also the motif impressed upon the plate which covered the incision made by the embalmer when he eviscerated the body to avert evil’s entrance into the corpse and to help magically heal the wound.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • Andrews, Carol. Egyptian Amulets. London :British Museum, 1994.
  • "Amulets”. In: The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, edited by Donald B. Redford. Three Volumes. London : Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Fleming, Stuart et al. The Egyptian Mummy Secrets and Science. The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1980.
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