Amulet of Pataikos

Napatan Period
750–270 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Gebel Barkal, B1200 room 1217


Overall: 3.7 x 1.9cm (1 7/16 x 3/4in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



Pataikos was 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. Animals often appear with him, including a scarab on his head, crocodiles being trampled under his feet, falcons on his shoulders and snakes in his hands. In this example, made of blue glazed faience tat is now faded to white, he has a scarab on his head and holds a pair of knives.The amulet is inscribed on the foot and back pillar and possbily functioned as a seal.


From Nubia, Gebel Barkal, B1200 room 1217. 1919: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan.

(Accession date: January 7, 2005)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition