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Wedjat ring
ca. 1539-1190 B.C.E.

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18-19

Faience (glazed composition)
H: 2.1 W: 2.3 D: 1.2 cm
Egypt

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1907.388

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The wedjat eye is a symbol of the falcon-headed god Horus, who gave the eye to his father Osiris and by doing so brought him back to life. In another story, the eye of Horus was injured and the time required for it to heal was likened to the cycle of the moon. The symbol may be translated as "the whole or restored one."

This type of amulet would have been used both during life and in the tomb as a symbol of protection during life and rebirth after death. The wedjat eye occurs as an amulet as early as the Old Kingdom in various materials and was often painted on objects such as Middle Kingdom coffins. But openwork faience wedjat eye rings like this one are limited to the New Kingdom (ca. 1539–1075 B.C.E.), primarily to Dynasties 18 and 19 (ca. 1539–1190 B.C.E.).




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