This Egyptian faience amulet depicts the god Thoth in the form of an ibis bird. Dating back to circa 664-30 Century BC, it was made during the Late Period to Ptolemaic Period. Thoth is depicted in a squatting position on a rectangular plinth, with his beak supported by the feather of Ma’at. The two-tone turquoise and dark blue glazed composition is striking and has been preserved for centuries. The amulet has a suspension loop on the back, resting on a raised plinth.
As the protector of women and children, Thoth was highly revered. The deity was often depicted in association with the Greek god Hermes due to their similar attributes. The amulet itself was made of faience, a ceramic material that was glazed with turquoise and green color, and then fired in a kiln at 900 C. The craftsmanship of the amulet is evident in the attention to detail, and the intricate glaze work.
On display at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 130, this amulet provides a glimpse into the rich history and artistry of ancient Egypt. It serves as a reminder of the importance of amulets in ancient Egyptian culture, as they were believed to hold protective powers and ward off evil. The amulet in the shape of an ibis is a beautiful example of how art was intertwined with religion and everyday life in ancient Egypt.