Fragmentary amulet of Pataikos

Napatan Period, reign of Taharqa or Tanwetamani
690–653 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Meroe, Beg. South, Grave 157


Overall: 1.9 x 2.9 x 2.5cm (3/4 x 1 1/8 x 1in.)

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 fragment only the lower part survives, including the feet and part of the legs’ standing on 2 crocodiles. On the outside of the legs are the lower ends of a pair of wings belonging to a protective goddess whose feet, facing right, are preserved on the back of the amulet. The under side of the base is decirated with a wedjat eye.


From Meroe (Beg. South) Grave 157. 1921: Excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Sudan.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition