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Statuette of Isis and Horus Permanent Collection:
Ancient Egyptian Art:
Statuette of Isis and Horus

Thirtieth Dynasty-Early Ptolemaic Period, ca. 380-200 B.C. Faience. Gift in memory of Dr. Charles Shute. 2000.4

This exquisitely detailed statuette shows the goddess Isis nursing her son, Horus. Isis and Horus were frequently depicted in this pose in the form of amulets, or charms. Amulets were worn as personal ornaments and protected the wearer or endowed them with certain qualities. Amulets of Isis, particularly when accompanied by her child, Horus, were favored by women, to provide protection during pregnancy and childbirth.

The purpose of an amulet varied according to its color, shape, and material. The most common material from which amulets were made was faience, a self-glazing type of ceramic made from crushed quartz that could be mass-produced using molds. Since most amulets were meant to be worn, they were designed with a loop for suspension by a chain or cord. Some examples, such as this one, seem to be too large or awkward for actual wear, and were probably presented as small votive offerings.


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