Double ba bird amulet

Nubian
Napatan Period, reign of Taharqa
690–664 B.C.


Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe, W 609, No. 14

Dimensions

Height: 3.3 cm (1 5/16 in.)

Accession Number

23.822

Medium or Technique

Faience

Not On View

Collections

Jewelry, The Ancient World

Classifications

Amulets

The ancient Nubians, like the Egyptians, believed that the dead would continue to exist after death in a number of different forms. The ba, a mobile, energetic life force that was believed to able to travel to and from the world of the living, was portrayed either as a human-headed bird or a winged human wearing a solar disk on his or her head. The latter form was more common in Nubia. This amulet shows a pair of ba figures. Originally the amulet was a deeper blue-green glazed faience, but the glaze has now faded and there are brown incrustations.

Provenance

From Meroe (Beg. W) 609, No.14. 1923: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition