The Amulet Of The

This amulet probably represents the tree trunk in which the goddess Isis concealed the dead body of her husband, and the four cross-bars indicate the four cardinal points; it became a symbol of the highest religious importance to the Egyptians, and the setting up of the Tet at Busiris, which symbolized the reconstituting of the body of Osiris, was one of the most solemn of all the ceremonies performed in connexion with the worship of Osiris. The Tet represents neither the mason's table nor a Nilometer, as some have thought, It is always associated with the CLVth Chapter of the Book of the Dead, which reads:--

"Rise up thou, O Osiris! Thou hast thy backbone, O Still-Heart! Thou hast the fastenings of thy neck and back, O Still-Heart! Place thou thyself upon p. 45

The mummy of Ani the scribe, lying on a bier, attended by Isis, Nephthys, Anubis, the four children of Horus, the ushabti figure, his soul, the TET, etc. (From the Papyrus of Ani, plates 33, 34).

thy base, I put water beneath thee, and I bring unto thee a Tet of gold that thou mayest rejoice therein."

Like the buckle, the Tet had to be dipped in the water in which ankham flowers had been steeped, and laid upon the neck of the deceased, to whom it gave the power to reconstitute the body and to become a perfect KHU (i.e., spirit) in the underworld. On coffins the right hand of the deceased grasps the buckle, and the left the Tet; both are made of wood, notwithstanding the fact that the rubric to the Chapter of the Te orders the Tet to be made of gold.


This amulet is a model of the pillow which is found placed under the neck of the mummy in the coffin, and its object is to "lift up" and to protect the head of the deceased; it is usually made of hematite, and is inscribed with the text of the CLXVIth Chapter of the Book of the Dead, which reads:--

"Thou art lifted up, O sick one that liest prostrate. They lift up thy head to the horizon, thou art raised up, and dost triumph by reason of what hath been done for thee. Ptah hath overthrown thine enemies, which was ordered to be done for thee. Thou art Horus, the son of Hathor, . . . who givest back the head after the slaughter. Thy head shall not be carried away from thee after [the slaughter], thy head shall never, never be carried away from thee."

This amulet was intended to cause the power of Isis as the "divine mother" to be a protection for the deceased, and was made of gold in the form of a vulture hovering in the air with outstretched wings and holding in each talon the symbol of "life" * and was placed on the neck on the day of the funeral. With this amulet the CLVIIth Chapter of the Book of the Dead was associated, and it was ordered by the rubric to it to be recited over it; this text reads:--

"Isis cometh and hovereth over the city, and she goeth about seeking the secret habitations of Horus as he emergeth from his papyrus swamps, and she raiseth up his shoulder which is in evil case. He is made one of the company in the divine boat, and the sovereignty of the whole world is decreed for him. He hath warred mightily, and he maketh his deeds to be remembered; he hath made the fear of him to exist and awe of him to have its being. His mother the mighty lady, protecteth him, and she hath transferred her power unto him." The first allusion is to the care which Isis shewed for Horus when she was bringing him up in the papyrus swamps, and the second to his combat with Set, whom he vanquished through the might of Isis.


This amulet was intended to give the deceased power to free himself from his swathings; it is ordered by the rubric to the CLVIIIth Chapter of the Book of the Dead to be placed on his neck on the day of the funeral, and to be made of gold. The text of the Chapter reads:--"O my father, my brother, my mother Isis, I am unswathed, and I see. I am one of those who are unswathed and who see the god Seb." This amulet is very rare, and appears to have been the expression of beliefs which grew up in the period of the XXVIth dynasty, about B.C. 550.

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