Hippopotamus-head amulet

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109

Hippos were common inhabitants of the Nile River. The animal's aggressive nature and large size worried the ancient Egyptians because they frequently went out in boats on the river. Protection against this dangerous animal was imperative, however, the hippopotamus was also associated with positive qualities such as regeneration.

Hippopotamus-head amulet, Feldspar

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