Amulet of the goddess Heqet
The frog raises its head, while its legs, tense and nervous, are ready to jump. The shiny faience vividly reproduces the moist skin of this amphibian, it was the sacred animal of the goddess Heqet, protector of births. Amulets in the shape of frogs were produced throughout the Pharaonic period and in very different materials. The animal’s popularity was due to its being a symbol of creation and fertility.
The association between this amphibian and the life that continually renews may have been induced by the fact that frogs were numerous and usually appeared after the flooding of the Nile: multitudes of frogs filled the fields and seemed to generate themselves directly from the slime, multiplying without end.
The goddess Heqet is first attested in the Old Kingdom, in the Texts of the Pyramids, and was considered a tutelary deity of the king. However, in later periods, she became the protector of birth, both in the divine and human spheres, and it is perhaps from the Middle Kingdom that the title ‘Servant of Heqet’ was associated with midwives. The goddess was represented both as a frog and as a woman with a frog’s head.
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty to 20th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1070 BC. Egyptian Faience. 1 x 0.9 x 1.1 cm. Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 5154