An Ibis Amulet as Votive Object

Hannah Cohen
Hannah Cohen ('13) majored in Archaeology. In addition to her academic pursuits, she played club soccer; was president of the Alliance for Clean Water - a club through the JHU Center for Social Concern; and was a White Water Canoe Instructor for Outdoor Pursuits.

  • Egyptian alabaster and bronze alloy ibis, ECM 1692, Eton College Myers Collection

An Ibis Amulet as Votive Object

This paper discusses an Egyptian ibis amulet from the Eton College Myers Collection, and suggest its function as a votive object.  The amulet includes the composite body of a striding ibis, composed of travertine and gilded bronze, and a gilded bronze Maat feather.  Both physical and iconographic evidence is implemented in this paper in order to better understand the object, supporting a dating for ECM 1692 from circa the Late period to the Ptolemaic period in Egypt.  The materials section of this paper considers how the object was gilded, and notes structural elements of the object that may even reveal how it was used in life and/or placed at death.  Further understanding of the iconographic elements of this piece, such as its embodiment of Thoth and Maat, reveal a deeper understanding of the balance and complementary nature of this amulet.  Evidence in this paper supports ritual, votive, and funerary contexts for this object, connecting it to the cult of Thoth and other forms of ibis votive offerings, such as ibis mummies and ibis figurines dedicated during the Late period in Egypt.


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