The Egyptian word for amulet is mk-t which means protection. It is also derived from the Arabic root meaning "to carry" or "to carry". The substances used to make Egyptian amulets were believed to possess magical powers that were passed on to the wearer. The amulets offered protection to the living or dead body against all kinds of evil forces. The precious stone from which the amulet is made, the images of the amulet, the forms of the amulet; all of these were significant. In today's modern society, amulets are small objects that a person uses, carries, or offers to a deity because they believe that they will magically grant them a particular power or form of protection.

The most powerful of these Egyptian amulets were those that were inscribed with the names of the gods. The oldest of the Egyptian amulets dates from the Neolithic period. Some protected the user against specific dangers and others endowed him with special characteristics, such as strength or fierceness. They were often in the shape of animals, plants, sacred objects, or hieroglyphic symbols. The combination of shape, color and material was important to the effectiveness of the amulet. The objects can be artificial or natural.

The influence of magic is a typical characteristic of any society that is guided and dominated by some specific religious beliefs. The Egyptians believed in the healing and protective power of the amulet and both children and adults used them. In order to empower an amulet, it had to be crafted and dedicated strictly according to the instructions written in the Book of the Dead. Only then would the spirit of the appropriate god live within and energize the amulet.

The Egyptians believed that the heart was not only the seat of the power of life, but also the source of good and bad thoughts; and sometimes it typified conscience. It was guarded after death with special care, and was mummified separately, and then, with the lungs, it was preserved in a jar that was placed under the protection of the god Tuamutef.

The main function of ancient Egyptian heart amulets was to replace the organ when it was removed during mummification, which was the process of preparing the body for the afterlife. As the royal organ was preserved in a canopy vessel, this Egyptian amulet was used to replace it and transferred the protection of the Egyptian god Ra to the mummy. It was created from lapis lazuli or carnelian and is actually shaped like the canopic jar in which the heart is preserved.

Beetle Amulet Kheper (or khepper) was a beetle and was associated with creation or rebirth, because large numbers of these beetles seem to be born out of nowhere directly from the ground and from balls of dung. Words and names were often inscribed on metallic beetles.

The Egyptian amulet of the Buckle, represents the buckle or the belt of Isis, and it is usually made of carnelian, red jasper, red glass and other red substances; sometimes it is made of gold and of substances covered with gold. The buckle was placed on the neck of the deceased, where the rubric ordered it to be placed, it had to be immersed in water in which the nkham flowers had been soaked; and when the words of the Buckle were recited over him, the amulet brought to the deceased the protection of the blood of Isis and her words of power. The wedjat eye of Horus, made of blue or green earthenware (tin-glazed pottery), was commonly used for mummies. It was carved like the eye of Horus or the eye of a hawk. This amulet was believed to have regenerative and protective benefits. It was also sometimes used to represent food for the deceased.

The Ankh is a symbol of life. It was originally a sandal strap, the round part that went around the ankle. The two words "sandal strap" and "life" sounded the same, so the sandal strap came to represent life, which is why it is known in linguistics as the "rebus principle."

The Djed pillar or column represented stability and has been considered the backbone of the god Osiris. During specific festivals, a great Djed was a phallic symbol and was raised during festivals as a sign of the power and duration of the pharaoh's rule.

The cartridge (a loop or two of rope) is a popular piece of jewelry, usually containing a person's name. In ancient times, only the king (or queen or sometimes the high priest) had her name on a cartouche. Other people simply had their names spelled out, perhaps with a sign to indicate that the name was that of a man or a woman. The Tyet amulet was a symbol of the goddess Isis and was associated with life and well-being.

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Egyptian amulets from past to present