The cobra and the Ureaus were associated with the goddess, Wadjet – the protective deity of Lower Egypt. A powerful figure, Wadjet accounted for one half of the euphemistic ‘Two Ladies’ title of the Pharaoh (the other half being Nekhbet, protectress of Upper Egypt), and accordingly acted as a symbol for divine rule, sovereignty, and absolute authority. Amulets were worn by the ancient Egyptians for protective and decorative purposes. They often depicted deities, symbols, or body parts in the belief that they could evoke protection or certain beneficial qualities. This amulet was probably therefore related to divine rule and loyalty to the pharaoh.
For the Egyptians, gold was the most precious of materials. Its colour signified divinity; it was the metal from which the flesh of the gods was formed; and the Book of the Dead demanded that all amulets be made from it. Egypt is a land rich in gold, and ancient miners used traditional methods to harbour the natural resource. The hieroglyph representing gold was founded in the First Dynasty, but the earliest surviving gold artefacts come from around the 4th Millennium BC.
To find out more about Ancient Egyptian amulets please see our relevant blog post: Egyptian Amulets and their Meanings.