Amulet of Pataikos

Meroitic Period
About 10 B.C.–A.D. 114

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe (Beg. W), Tomb 311


Height: 3.8 cm (1 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Faience and gold

Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



This amulet is made of blue glazed faience with a gold setting with a long gold loop at the back. The amulet represents Pataikos, a popular protective deity, amulets of whom were believed to ward off threats to the wearer. He is usually depicted as a nude dwarf with a bald head, often wielding a pair of knives. Here, he wears a feathered headdress with ram’s horns and a solar disk. He tramples a pair of crocodile and holds a pair of snakes.


From Meroe (Beg. W), tomb 311. 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.

(Accession date: January 1, 1923)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition