Artwork of the Week: June 13

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Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 26, Amulet: Wedjat, Egyptian faience, about 664-525 BCE. 2 7/8 in. Classic Court (Gallery 2)

Egyptian, Late Period, Dynasty 26, Amulet: Wedjat, Egyptian faience, about 664-525 BCE. 2 7/8 in. Classic Court (Gallery 2)

The wedjat represents the eye of Horus, the god of the sky, often depicted as a falcon or a man with a falcon head. Here the wedjat is in the form of an amulet, or protective charm. Horus lost his left eye in a battle with his brother Seth, the god of chaos and confusion. When the goddess Hathor healed it, Horus used the restored eye (the wedjat) to resurrect his father Osiris, who had been murdered by Seth. This explains why Egyptians so often attached wedjat amulets to mummies: the wedjat came to symbolize the process of “making whole,” just as Egyptians believed the essence of the deceased would reunite with the preserved body in the afterlife.


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