Shrine Amulet

Green glazed steatite amulet in the form of a naos or a shrine. A naos (Greek ναός “temple, shrine”) is the descriptive name given to Egyptian hieroglyph Gardiner O18 (see below).

Shrine Amulet. British Museum. EA59402
Green glazed steatite shrine amulet. British Museum. EA59402

Within the inner shrine, an aegis of a leonine (lion) goddess remains. Each side of the shrine is decorated with representations of the leonine (lion) goddess, the roof is decorated with a uraeiform cornice with a suspension ring behind. The back has a depiction of the winged scarab.

It dates from the Third Intermediate Period, c. 1070-664 B.C. The Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt began with the death of Pharaoh Ramesses XI in 1077 B.C., which ended the New Kingdom, and was eventually followed by the Late Period.

Shrine (Naos)-O18
Shrine (Naos)-O18

The Jubilee pavilion hieroglyph is a side view of the pharaoh seated, in opposing views, wearing the two separate crowns, the crown of the South, the hedjet, and the crown of the North (the Nile Delta), the deshret. The pavilion is composed of two side views of the naos hieroglyph.

The early Old Kingdom labels, for example Pharaoh Den, portrayed him in a side view in his naos. An example of the combined, opposed, view with the two crowns, is the lintel of Senusret II, 12th Dynasty, 19th century B.C.. It shows the naos curved roofs of each half of the pavilion hieroglyph.

A naophoros “temple-bearer” is a type of statue holding the naos symbol. An example is the Ramesside-era statue of Panehsy, overseer of the treasury. The earliest examples of such statues date to the 18th Dynasty.