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Amulet of a goddess, perhaps Sakhmet
ca. 1075-656 B.C.E. or later

Third Intermediate Period
Possibly Saite Dynasty 26

Faience (glazed composition)
H: 10.3 W: 2.0 D: 3.2 cm
Egypt

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1907.30

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This is an amulet in the form of a striding female deity whose image combines the body of a woman with the head of a lioness. She wears an ankle-length sheath gown and tripartite wig; on her head is a sun disk with uraeus, the cobra-like serpent representing the radiance of the sun god.

The amulet depicts either the goddess Sakhmet or the goddess Bastet. Sakmet, a lion-headed goddess, was a symbol of power and protection for the Egyptian king. Bastet was the feline-headed, benevolent counterpart of Sakhmet. If no accompanying inscription identifies the figure, as in the case of this amulet, it can be difficult to tell which goddess is represented.