Egyptian Amulet of Taweret


A blue faience amulet of the goddess Theoris/Taweret, the pregnant hippopotamus, standing on an oblong base. Her left leg is advanced, and her arms are at her side. She has the body of a hippopotamus, and the usual crocodile’s tail hanging down her back. There is a suspension loop at the rear.

Date: Circa 4th - 1st Century BC
Period: Ptolemaic Period
Condition: Very fine condition; small chip to the feet, otherwise complete and intact.

In stock

Product Code: AS-829
Category: Tags: , , ,

The Egyptians wore amulets alongside other pieces of jewellery. They were decorative, but also served a practical purpose, being considered to bestow power and protection upon the wearer. Many of the amulets have been found inside the wrappings of mummies, as they were used to prepare the deceased for the afterlife.

Amulets held different meanings, depending on their type or form. Small amulets depicting gods and goddesses seem to have induced the protective powers of the deity. On the other hand, small representations of anatomical features or creatures suggest that the wearer required protection over a specific body part, or that he/she desired the skills of a particular animal. Amulets depicting animals were very common in the Old Kingdom Period, whilst representations of deities gained popularity in the Middle Kingdom.

Thoeris, also known as ‘Tawaret’ was an Egyptian deity who attended women in childbirth, and became a patron for pregnant women accordingly. She is often shown standing as a heavily pregnant hippopotamus with low hanging stomach. She was a household deity with no temple dedicated to her, but some form of shrine was in almost every house. Many women carried an amulet like this to assist them with labour and child rearing.

Dimensions H 4.0 cm

Egyptian Faience


Egyptian Mythology


Reference: See Carol Andrews' Amulets of Ancient Egypt (London 1994) no. 39 for several examples of the type.

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