Crocodile amulet

Period: Ptolemaic Period

Date: 304–247 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt

Medium: Faience

Dimensions: H. 1.1 cm (7/16 in.); W. 1.5 cm (9/16 in.); L. 3.9 cm (1 9/16 in.)

Credit Line: Gift of Norbert Schimmel Trust, 1989

Accession Number: 1989.281.96


Crocodiles were dangerous animals, but Sobek, probably the divinity depicted in this amulet, was a benevolent water deity. The Nile issuing from his sweat made the valley productive, and as a fertility god he was linked to the myth surrounding rebirth in the afterlife. The fine quality of this piece suggests it was a temple offering.