Golden Ram’s-head Amulet

Golden Ram's-head Amulet
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1989.281.98

This golden Ram’s-head amulet was probably made for a necklace worn by one of the Kushite kings. Representations show these pharaohs wearing a ram’s-head amulet tied around the neck on a thick cord, the ends of which fall forward over the shoulders. Sometimes a smaller ram’s head is attached to each end. Rams were associated with the god Amun, particularly in Nubia, where he was especially revered.

During the 25th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, also known as the Kushite Dynasty, ram pendants continued to be popular symbols of power, protection, and divine connection. The Kushite rulers, who were of Nubian descent, incorporated elements of both Egyptian and Nubian culture into their jewelry and artifacts. Ram pendants during this period may have featured a blend of Egyptian and Nubian artistic styles, reflecting the cultural fusion of the time. These pendants likely held similar symbolic meanings as in earlier periods, representing strength, fertility, and the divine authority of the rulers.

Golden Ram’s-head Amulet

Ram pendants were commonly worn in ancient Egypt as symbols of protection, strength, and fertility. These pendants often featured intricate designs and were crafted from materials such as gold, silver, or precious stones. The ram’s association with the god Amun made it a popular choice for jewelry, as wearing a ram pendant was believed to bring blessings and divine favor. These ancient Egyptian artifacts serve as a fascinating glimpse into the beliefs and customs of that time period.

Rams held significant symbolism in ancient Egypt, often associated with the god Amun, who was depicted with a ram’s head. The ram was considered a sacred animal and represented qualities such as strength, fertility, and leadership. Rams were also used in religious ceremonies and sacrifices. Additionally, the ram-headed sphinxes found in ancient Egyptian architecture further highlight the importance of rams in their culture.

Third Intermediate Period, 25th Dynasty, ca. 712-664 BC. Possibly from Nubia. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1989.281.98