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.
Sobek was the Ancient Egyptian god of the river and swamp, and his cult was worshipped predominantly in Egypt’s Faiyum region. He was often portrayed as a male with the head of a crocodile and a human body. Sobek, in his manifestation as a crocodile, was of ferocious character and thus associated with the military, standing as its patron god. During the Middle Kingdom, he gained immense popularity with the ruling class and was often considered in conjunction with Horus. As well as bringing him closer in association to Iris and Osiris, this connection also linked him to pharaonic power, increasing further his importance in the Egyptian pantheon.
To find out more about the Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings: Ancient Egyptian Gods.