Amulet of crocodile with head of ram

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This interesting amulet presents a syncretism between the god Sobek and the god Jnum. It presents the elongated body of a crocodile with the head of a ram that easily identifies with the god Jnum.

This god, Jnum, was considered the creator of the primordial egg from which solar light emerged at the beginning of time, which gave life to the world.

Crocodiles were dangerous animals, but Sobek, probably the divinity depicted in this amulet, was a benevolent water deity. The Nile issuing from his sweat made the valley productive, and as a fertility god he was linked to the myth surrounding rebirth in the afterlife.

The material used for the creation of this amulet is faience, composed of fine sand cemented with sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate extracted from natron. Fired at 950 ºC, the mixture gives an enamel-like finish with the carbonates forming a vitreous surface. It was a simple procedure and therefore not costly. The green and blue tones were achieved by the addition of a few grams of copper oxide extracted from malachite or azurite. The red tones were achieved with iron oxide, the intense blues with cobalt, the black by mixing iron oxide and magnesium oxide with water. All that was needed was to paint the chosen details in the selected colour with a brush before the firing.

PARALLELS:

- Sculpture of a crocodile with the head of a hawk. The Walters Art Museum. Maryland. EE.UU. Inventory number: 22.347.
- Amulet of a crocodile with the head of a hawk. Metropolitan Museum. New York. EE.UU. Inventory number 1989.281.95.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

- ANDREWS, C. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. London. 1994.
- CAUBET, A. (ed). Faïences de l’Antiquitié. De l’Egypte a l’Iran. Paris. 2005.

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