Scorpion Amulet

Egyptian

original

gift of: Professor Thurston Lacalli

date: unknown

provenance: purchased by donor

description: Verdigris bronze figure of a scorpion with its tail curved over to meet its body, creating a hole to accomodate a chain or wire. Mounted on a wooden block. Height 3 cm, length 4 cm, width 2.5 cm.

This piece may represent the Egyptian goddess Selket. She was one of the protective goddesses of the Nile and was often depicted as a woman with a scorpion head or vice versa. She guarded over Apep who, defeated by the defendors of Ra, was sent to the underworld, her domain. Her consort was the human-limbed serpent deity Nekhebkau who also inhabited the underworld.

She was most commonly described as assistant to Isis in caring for Horus (see: Horus as a Falcon) and preparing the funerary rites for Osiris (see: Bronze Amulets). She was also the tutelary deity associated with one of the canopic jars (see: Canopic Figures).

(See also: Faience Amulets; Blue Glass Amulet.)