Headrest amulet

Late Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 127

This miniature headrest–less than one inch long–is an amulet. Full-size headrests supported the neck of a sleeping person and were often decorated with protective symbols; examples were also placed in the tomb. Headrest amulets were exclusively used as funerary amulets. In addition to their protective function, further meaning derived from the formal resemblance between the round head on the curved headrest and the sun rising between two hills, a powerful symbol of resurrection and rebirth for the ancient Egyptians. Headrest amulets were meant to protect the head of the deceased and to reinsure his or her rebirth.

Headrest amulet, Stone

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.