Amulet of the god Amun

Similar amulet pendants of Amun have been recovered from the royal tombs at Kurru and Nuri in Sudan, and Nubian royalty is often depicted wearing similarly impressive decorations. On the back of the figure is a loop for a chain so that the amulet could be worn around the neck.

The figure shows the god Amun with his crown surmounted by two ostrich plumes. At his neck he wears a pendant of the rising sun placed within a shrine. His broad hips and low-slung kilt are characteristic of similar Nubian figures.

Amulet of Amun
Amulet of Amun

Amun is shown with his proper right leg advanced, unlike most Egyptian figures, in which the proper left leg steps forward. It is made of gilded silver, which reflects the belief that the bones of the gods were silver and their flesh gold.

During the Napatan Period, which spanned from the 8th century BC to the 4th century BC, Amun continued to hold significant religious and political importance in the Kingdom of Kush, located in present-day Sudan. The Napatan rulers of Kush considered themselves the legitimate successors of the pharaohs of Egypt and sought to maintain a close connection with Egyptian religious traditions.

Amun, the chief deity of the Egyptian pantheon, was particularly revered during this period. The Napatan kings identified themselves as the “Beloved of Amun” and sought to strengthen their legitimacy by associating themselves with this powerful deity. They built temples dedicated to Amun and conducted rituals and offerings to honor him.

The most notable example of Amun’s significance during the Napatan Period is the construction of the Temple of Amun at Jebel Barkal, near the capital city of Napata. This temple complex served as a major religious center and a symbol of the close relationship between the Kushite rulers and Amun.

Amun’s worship during the Napatan Period demonstrates the influence of Egyptian religious traditions on the Kushite kingdom and highlights the importance of Amun as a deity in both Egyptian and Kushite cultures during this time.

Napatan Period, ca. 722-332 BC. Gilded silver. From Lower Nubia. Now in the Michael C. Carlos Museum. 2006.036.001