Tit (Isis knot) amulet

Period: New Kingdom

Dynasty: Dynasty 18

Date: ca. 1550–1275 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Abydos, Cemetery D, Tomb D33, Egypt Exploration Fund excavations, 1900

Medium: Jasper

Dimensions: H. 6.6 cm (2 5/8 in): w. 2.8 cm (1 1/8 in); th. 0.7cm (1/4 in)

Credit Line: Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1900

Accession Number: 00.4.39


The tit symbol (pronounced teet) illustrates a knotted piece of cloth whose early meaning is unknown, but in the New Kingdom it was clearly associated with the goddess Isis, the great magician and wife of Osiris. By this time, the tit was also associated with blood of Isis. The tit sign was considered a potent symbol of protection in the afterlife and the Book of the Dead specifies that the tit be made of blood-red stone, like this example, and placed at the deceased's neck.

Knots were widely used as amulets because the Egyptians believed they bound and released magic (for another amuletic knot see 27.3.398).