Star amulets

This collection of stringed blue faïence star amulets was found at el-Lisht, the funerary site of Middle Kingdom royal and elite burials. The region was originally excavated by the French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero in 1882.

The stringed star amulets were discovered in 1920-22, during the MMA excavations taking place at the time. They could date somewhere between the Middle Kingdom and early New Kingdom, c. 1981–1295 B.C.

Blue faïence stars on string. Met Museum. 22.1.1298 Colourised by
Blue faïence stars on string. Met Museum. 22.1.1298 Colourised by

In ancient Egypt, star amulets were believed to hold symbolic and protective significance. These amulets were often shaped like stars and were associated with various deities, such as the goddess Isis or the god Horus. They were believed to bring good fortune, guidance, and protection to the wearer.

Faience amulets held great symbolism in ancient Egypt. Faience, a type of glazed ceramic, was a popular material used to create various amulets. Faience amulets were commonly worn as jewelry or placed in tombs as offerings to the deceased. They were believed to provide protection, good luck, and assistance in the afterlife.

The vibrant blue or green color of faience was also associated with fertility and rebirth, further enhancing their symbolic value in ancient Egyptian culture.

Star amulets were commonly made from materials like faience, a type of glazed ceramic, or precious metals like gold. They were worn as jewelry or carried as talismans to ward off evil spirits and ensure a positive cosmic influence.