Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Heart amulet

Period:
New Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 18–19
Date:
ca. 1550–1186 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Glass
Dimensions:
H. 2.1 cm (13/16 in); w. 1.9 cm (3/4 in)
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910
Accession Number:
10.130.1782
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 117
For the ancient Egyptians, the heart (ib) was the source of intelligence, feelings, and actions. A person's memory was also housed in the heart and so at the judgment ceremony (Weighing of the Heart) in the afterlife, the heart was able to speak on behalf of the deceased, accounting to Osiris for a lifetime of deeds. Therefore, heart amulets were only used on the mummy to protect the owner's organ and to ensure that his heart gave a positive response at judgment.
Formerly in the collection of the Reverend Chauncey Murch (died 1907). Collected between 1883 and 1906 while Murch was a missionary in Egypt. Collection purchased by the Museum from the Murch family with funds provided by Helen Miller Gould, 1910.

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