An integral part of Ancient Egyptian culture, amulets were considered to possess protective and empowering properties for the benefit of their wearer. They 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.
Poppy or thistle amulets were representative of healing and the removal of pain. Thistles were common all over Egypt, but especially around the Nile. It is thought that they were peeled and boiled before consumption, with the thistle used in some parts of the world as a herbal treatment for hepatic disorders. If, on the other hand, the amulet is intended to represent a poppy, the piece retains symbolic significance. Indeed, there is evidence for the extraction of morphine from poppies in the ancient world.
To find out more about the use of carnelian in Ancient Egyptian culture please see our relevant blog post: The Significance of Carnelian in Ancient Egyptian Culture.