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The Heart of Wisdom: Studies on the Heart Amulet in Ancient Egypt

Rogério Sousa


The heart amulet is one of the most often depicted images in Egyptian art. Due to the scarcity of archaeological information available about the heart amulet, its artistic depictions represent an important and decisive source for the study of the meaningof these objects. We know that the amulet was already in use as early as the 11th Dynasty among the circle of Theban royalty. However, the first known depiction of the heart amulet only occurs at the beginning of the 18th Dynasty, in the Donation Stela, where the object is used by the young prince. This current study focuses on the significance and development of this iconic image.