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 typ e 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 from the Middle Kingdom.
Thoth was the Egyptian god of knowledge and wisdom, creator of hieroglyphs and patron god of scribes. The ibis head was reserved solely for his representation. It was believed that Thoth recorded the verdict of the deceased’s fate during the ‘Weighing of the heart ceremony’. Amulets such as this would have been placed upon the mummy to anticipate a good outcome in the ceremony.