Amulet of Ra-Horakhty

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

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), el-Kurru, Ku 52


Height x width: 9.2 x 5.3 cm (3 5/8 x 2 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Jewelry, The Ancient World



This intricate openwork amulet represents one of several falcon-headed deities worshipped in Egypt and Nubia, probably Ra-Horakhty. The amulet is in the form of a plaque showing the god seated and holding an ankh, the hieroglyphic symbol for life. He wears an elaborate headdress consisting of a tall atef crown adorned with ram’s’ horns, plumes, uraeus cobras and a solar disk. Such headdresses are usually associated with Ra-Horakhty. Because of his association with the rising sun, amulets representing the god were believed to help the deceased achieve rebirth in the afterlife. A loop on the back of the crown allowed the amulet to be strung.


From el-Kurru, Ku 52 (tomb of Queen Nefrukekashta). 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