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.
Horus was one of the most significant Ancient Egyptian deities. He is most commonly depicted with the head of a falcon, and the body of a man. Horus was a sun and moon deity, and it was said that his right eye was the sun, and the left was the moon. Here depicted with no headdress, Horus is shown striding with his left leg forward. Amulets of Horus were thought to grant the wearer protection in this world and the next.
Thoth was usually depicted as a human with the head of an ibis, but representations of him as a dog-faced baboon were also common. It is likely that amulets of Thoth in ibis form bore funerary associations.
Lapis lazuli was considered a semi-precious stone and not found locally to the Egyptians. Its status and value derived in part from the fact that it had to be imported, most likely from Afghanistan.