Gold amulet in the form of a cobra

2000-100 BCE in Egypt

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Thin gold amulet, cut and punched from behind into a cobra or uralus, Egyptian

Many people still believe that amulets have magical or spiritual powers, bringing good luck and good health while providing protection from sickness and harm. A female cobra with its hood raised in a uraeus pose is punched into this thin gold amulet, which is just over 10 mm in height. A uraeus was a symbol of authority used by ancient Egyptian kings and queens. The cobra was said to spit poison into the eyes of an enemy. The amulet would have been worn around the neck.

On display

Science Museum: Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

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Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
overall (laying flat): 1 mm x 8 mm x 12 mm, .001 kg
Loan, Wellcome Trust

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