Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Hedgehog Amulet on a String

Period:
Middle Kingdom
Dynasty:
mid-Dynasty 13
Date:
ca. 1750–1700 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, cemetery, Pit 995, MMA excavations, 1921–22
Medium:
Glazed steatite, linen string
Dimensions:
l. 0.9 cm (5/16 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922
Accession Number:
22.1.301
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 113
Although never very common, hedgehog amulets have a long history in ancient Egypt, with their popularity peaking in the New Kingdom. These amulets functioned as rebirth symbols, although the reason for this use is not apparent today. Possibly this charm protected the deceased because the hedgehog thrived in the low desert's harsh environment in or near cemeteries.
Museum excavations, 1920-1922. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1922. Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

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