Amulet of a lion-headed goddess

4000-30 BCE in Egypt

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Pottery amulet, Bartet, goddess of pestilence, Egyptian, 4000-30BC. graduated matt black perspex background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Pottery amulet, Bastet, goddess of pestilence, Egyptian, 4000-30BC

The ancient Egyptians believed that illness and disease had both natural and supernatural causes, which were controlled by the gods. Prevention and treatment of illness and disease therefore included prayers to statues of gods in the home (like this pottery example.) In Egyptian culture there were two goddesses depicted with lion heads: Bastet and Sekhmet. Bastet was the goddess of fertility. From c. 900 BCE, Bastet was shown with the head of a cat. Sekhmet was the goddess of pestilence and divine retribution. She punished the human race for their wrongdoings by sending down infectious diseases.

Related people


Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
incomplete and pottery

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.