Headrest Amulet

Late Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 130

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 reinsure his or her rebirth.

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