Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Snake-head Amulet

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 12–13
Date:
ca. 1981–1640 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, Cemetery, MMA excavations
Medium:
Carnelian
Dimensions:
W. 0.7 x L. 1.6 cm (1/4 x 5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909
Accession Number:
09.180.2455
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109
The cobra, a common inhabitant of the Nile River's floodplain, has a deadly bite. Wearing an amulet in the form of a cobra's head would have been considered an effective way to prevent an attack, an event feared by both the living and the dead. Amulets like this one were made for use in the afterlife.
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

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