Aegis of Sakhmet or Bastet

Period: Late Period–Ptolemaic Period

Dynasty: Dynasty 21–30

Date: 664–30 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt

Medium: Faience

Dimensions: H. 3.7 cm (1 7/16 in); w. 3 cm (1 3/16 in)

Credit Line: Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910

Accession Number: 10.130.2055


An aegis is a collarlike necklace (often called a broad-collar) bearing a divine head as symbol of protection and fertility. The aegis was an element of a sacred menat necklace from at least the 18th dynasty. Heads of Lion- or cat-headed goddesses were most frequently depicted, but other goddesses and some gods might appear.

Small faience examples like this one might serve as amulets.