Collection online

figure / amulet

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Mould-made large amuletic figure in glazed composition, in the shape of a falcon, maybe associated with the god Horus; modelling simplified, but well-conceived and rather standard as rest of type, with parrot shaped beak, large protruding eyes and overlapping tail feathers, standing on rectangular base; tail and feet in open-work; suspension loop pierced widthways on back; white glaze with added details in black/brown glaze on beak, eyes, feet and tail; cream porous paste.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 6thC BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 3.8 centimetres
    • Width: 1.25 centimetres
    • Length: 3.1 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The faience object was analysed by proton induced X-ray emission spectrometry (PIXE) under a 3 MeV energy proton beam for characterisation of the elemental chemical composition (major, minor and trace elements), in March 2014, by the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France (C2RMF).
    Marked AΠ4 in pencil, corresponding to stratum AΠ4 in the Apollo Temenos (Petrie 1886, pl. XLIV).
    Falcons are often associated with Horus, though various deities and the pharaoh himself can assume a falcon form (Davies, Smith 2005, 54); the identification of the deity represented is even harder in the case of amulets (Andrews 1994, 27-28; on various types of falcon amulets: Herrmann et al. 2010, 103-104).
    Numerous amulets of falcons, made out of bronze, glazed composition, stone and Egyptian blue, were discovered in Naukratis. This rather large amuletic figure belongs to a common type at Naukratis, probably produced locally (Masson forthcoming; on this specific type of falcon figure, also found and produced in Kamiros: Webb 1978, 95, no. 685), maybe at the Scarab Factory itself (Webb forthcoming). Part of this production was intended for the Greek market. Some were discovered in the Greek temples of Apollo and Aphrodite in Naukratis, such as this specimen.

    Andrews, C.A.R. 1994, Amulets of Ancient Egypt, London.
    Davies, S., Smith, H.S. 2005, The sacred animal necropolis at North Saqqara: the falcon complex and catacomb (Egypt Exploration Society Memoirs 73), London.
    Herrmann, C., Staubli, T., Berger-Lober, S., Keel, O., Schönbächler, G. 2010, 1001 Amulett : altägyptischer Zauber, monotheisierte Talismane, säkulare Magie, Bibel+Orient-Museum, Liebefeld, Stuttgart.
    Masson, A. forthcoming, ‘Naukratis: Egyptian offerings in context’, in M. Bergeron and A. Masson (eds), Naukratis in Context II: Cults, Sanctuaries and Offerings. Proceedings of the Second Naukratis Project Workshop held at the British Museum, 22nd – 23rd June 2013.
    Webb, V. 1978, Archaic Greek Faience, Miniature scent bottles and related objects from East Greece, 650-500BC, Warminster.
    Webb, V. forthcoming, Faience finds from Naukratis and their implications for the chronology of the site, in R. Thomas (ed.), forthcoming. Naukratis in Context I: The Nile Delta as a Landscape of Connectivity. Proceedings of the First Naukratis Project Workshop held at The British Museum 16th – 17th December 2011.


  • Bibliography

    • Webb 1978 499 bibliographic details
    • Villing et al 2013-2015 OK.219 (phase 3) bibliographic details
    • Petrie 1886 pl. II, no. 9 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition


  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1884-1885.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


Cream glazed composition amulet in the form of a falcon with a laterally pierced suspension ring at the back.


Cream glazed composition amulet in the form of a falcon with a laterally pierced suspension ring at the back.

Image description



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Object reference number: YCA45812

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