Requires Photography

Amulet of Pataikos

Napatan Period, reign of Piankhy (Piye)
743–712 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), el-Kurru, Ku 53

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Out on Loan

On display at National Center of Afro-American Artists, Inc., since February 23, 1994


Jewelry, The Ancient World



The worn faience 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, as often, he wears a feathered crown adorned with a solar disk and pair of horns.


From el-Kurru, Ku. 53 (tomb of Queen Tabiry). 1919: 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, 1924)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition