Shells Amulet-pendant, 4500 BC
Badarian Predynastic Period
Amulets are objects generally kept on the person that are believed to confer some benefit to the wearer. While turn of the century archeologist Flinders Petrie (1914) enraged that “the belief in the magic effect of inanimate objects on the course of events is one of the lower stages of the human mind in seeking for principles of natural action...”, he had to concede that the use of amulets, talismans, and charms is very ingrained in many cultures to the present day. Many of us use lucky pens and wear religious medals without believing literally in their powers to affect our lives. But we still use them. They help us muster the confidence we need in times of self doubt. They empower us to dare, to believe in ourselves, to heal ourselves. Egyptians may have felt the same way. They used amulets on themselves and on their dead. Egyptians also seem to have had a passion for jewelry, and amulets were a good excuse to wear more jewelry.
Bibliography (for this item):
Petrie, W.M. Flinders, Amulets. Constable & Company, London, UK., 1914
Two snail shells held together by a refined loop of decoratively twisted bronze constitutes a type of amulet, probably worn as a pendant, from the Badarian predynastic period (4500-4000 BC).