- Museum number
Glazed composition 'djed'-pillar amulet: ropes are clearly delineated around the shaft immediately below the lowest bar. Pierced for suspension.
- Production date
- 600BC (or later)
Height: 11.35 centimetres
Weight: 44 grammes
Width: 3.65 centimetres
Depth: 1.56 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The 'djed' is in the form of the hieroglyphic sign, which means "enduring," and "stable" and would thus confer these qualities on the owner of the amulet. Perhaps originally the 'djed' represented a stylized tree trunk with lopped off branches. Certainly, at first, when it was associated with Sokar, the funerary god of the Memphite necropolis and later with Ptah, the Memphite creator god, the ritual raising of the djed involved pulling a huge djed upright by ropes in the manner of a maypole. However, by the time an amulet in its shape had become one of the prescribed funerary amulets, it was associated only with Osiris, god of the dead, and considered to represent his stylized backbone and ribs.
Chapter 155 of the 'Book of the Dead' required a djed pillar amulet to be made of gold, but very many are of a green material, as here, a colour with regenerative connotations.
'Egyptian Treasures' (Shanghai, 1999), 142-143 No 42;
C. Andrews, 'Amulets of Ancient Egypt' (London 1994), p.83.
J.H. Taylor & D. Antoine, Ancient lives, new discoveries, London 2014, p. 88.
D. Antoine and M. Vandenbeusch, Egyptian mummies. Exploring ancient lives, Sydney 2016, p. 74.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2002, St Albans, Life and Death
2003 2 Apr-29 Jun, Leeds, Henry Moore Institute, Magic
2014-15 22 May to 19 April, London, British Museum, 'Ancient Lives, New Discoveries'
2016-2017 10 Oct-30 Apr, Sydney, Powerhouse Museum, Ancient Lives
2017 16 Jun-18 Oct, Hong Kong Science Museum, Ancient Lives
2017-2018 14 Nov-20 Feb, Taiwan, National Palace Museum, Ancient Lives
2018 16 Mar-22 Jul, Brisbane, Queensland Museum of Art, Ancient Lives
2019-2020 14 Sept- 28 Jun, Montreal, Museum of Fine Arts, Ancient Lives EXTENDED DUE TO COVID19
2020-2021, 19 Sept - 21 Mar, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, Ancient Lives
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number