Fragmentary Amulet of Pataikos
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The ancient Egyptians regarded short stature as a mark of divinity. They associated the physical characteristics of achondroplasia (a type of dwarfism) with the sun god Re. In Egyptian mythology, Re died in the evening and was reborn every morning as a wise, experienced, yet youthful god. The symbol of the morning sun, the scarab, evoked the silhouette of a large torso with short, curved limbs.
This fragmentary amulet is an example of religion and magic practiced by regular Egyptians. As timeless symbols of rebirth, images of Pataikos and other gods of short stature protected women and children during dangerous times of transition, especially pregnancy and birth, repelling evil and aiding regeneration.
New Kingdom or later
1 15/16 x 1 1/2 in. (5 x 3.8 cm)
This item is not on view
Brooklyn Museum Collection
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