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Amulet of Pataikos Flanked by Goddesses

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Very high-quality and expensive faience amulets were made in all periods. In this amulet, the dwarf god Pataikos strangles snakes while standing on two crocodiles. A scarab, a beetle associated with the sun god, rests on his head. He is flanked by Isis and Nephthys, the wife and sister of Osiris. The back of the amulet is a ba-bird, part of the soul of the deceased. This amulet, worn with a cord around the neck, protects the deceased from snakes and crocodiles in the afterlife. Pataikos has connections to the dwarf god Bes and to the god Horus the child, who also stands on crocodiles. But he seems to be a separate entity.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 664–30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26, or later
    PERIOD Late Period to Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 2 15/16 x 1 11/16 x 1 in. (7.5 x 4.3 x 2.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pale blue-green glazed faience figure of Pataikos. The god, with scarab atop his head, stands on two crocodiles with inturned heads and tails. In his hands he holds snakes. Facing outwards on each side of Pataikos is a goddess: Isis on his right and Nephthys on his left. On each of Pataikos’ shoulders is a falcon. In the rear is a winged figure crowned with a solar disk. Condition: Figure of Nepthys missing headdress. Glaze chipped from front of plinth. Beginnings of glaze deterioration on rear. Some pitting.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Amulet of Pataikos Flanked by Goddesses, 664–30 B.C.E. Faience, 2 15/16 x 1 11/16 x 1 in. (7.5 x 4.3 x 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.949E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.949E_front_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 37.949E_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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