Wadjet Eye Amulet
One of the most popular amulets in ancient Egypt, the wadjet eye amulet represents the healed eye of the god Horus. It depicts a combination of a human and a falcon eye, since Horus was often associated with a falcon. Its ancient Egyptian name, wadjet, means “the one that is sound (again).”
In Egyptian mythology Horus’ eye was injured or stolen by the god Seth and then restored by Thoth. The wadjet eye embodies healing power and symbolizes rebirth. An amulet in this shape was thought to protect its wearer and to transfer the power of regeneration onto him or her. This particular wadjet eye shows the typical style of the New Kingdom, in which the spiral element sits directly underneath the cosmetic line, while in later examples it is situated much lower.
“An amulet… is a personal ornament which, because of its shape, the material from which it is made, or even just its colour, is believed to endow its wearer by magical means with certain powers or capabilities. At the very least it should afford some kind of magical protection…”
“… For the ancient Egyptians amulets and jewellery incorporating amuletic forms were an essential adornment, especially as part of the funerary equipment for the dead, but also in the costume of the living. Moreover, many of the amulets and pieces of amuletic jewellery worn in life for their magical properties could be taken to the tomb for use in the life after death…”
― Amulets of Ancient Egypt, by Carol Andrews, British Museum Press, London, UK, 1999
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, ca. 1391-1353 BC. Made of Egyptian faience. From Malqata. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 11.215.132