Blue faience ring, udjat eye, Dyn. 18

Blue faience ring, udjat eye, Dyn. 18
Period:Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18
Dating:1370 BC–1320 BC
Origin:Egypt, Middle Egypt, El-Amarna [Akhetaten]
Material:Faience (all types)
Physical:2.2cm. (.9 in.) - 1 g. (0 oz.)

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Links to others from Dynasty 18

Alabaster unguent jar, Dyn. 18
Alabaster unguent vase, Dyn. 18
Amenhotep III as Amun-Min, Dyn 18
Amulet of Bes, Dyn. 18
Amulet of god Thoth as a Baboon, Dyn. 18
Anthropomorphic mirror handle, Dyn. 18
Basalt shawabti of a king, early Dyn. 18
Blue faience shawabti, Dyn.18
Bronze Horus sarcophagus, Dyn.18
Bronze insigna-pendant of Atum, Dyn. 18
Bronze of a king as Osiris, Dyn. 18
Bronze of Sakhmet seated, early Dyn. 18
Bronze statuette of Apis, Dyn. 18
Cartonnage of Princess Baket, Dyn. 18
Cartouche ring of Akhenaten, Dyn. 18
Carved face from a sarcophagus, Dyn. 18
Carved face from a sarcophagus, N.K.
Copper inlay for a box, Dyn. 18
Divine scarab, reign of Thutmose IV
Enameled feathers of Amun, Dyn. 18
Extensible bronze bracelet, Dyn. 18
Faience ear ornament, Dyn. 18
Foundation marker from Amenhotep III
Funerary box (panel), Dyn. 18-33
Gilded ib, heart amulet, Dyn.18
Gilded mkrt, snake amulet, Dyn. 18
Gilded ‘tit’ (girdle of Isis) amulet, Dyn. 18
Granite cartouche of Akhenaten, Dyn. 18
Head, realistic portrait in stone, Dyn 18
Horus-the-Child as a ruling king, Dyn. 18
Ibis-headed Thoth with human body, Dyn.18
King Amenhotep II (?) as Amun-Re, Dyn. 18
King Horemheb as a sphinx, Dyn. 18
King Horemheb as Amun-Re, Dyn. 18
King wearing the royal headdress, Dyn. 18
Limestone shawabti, early Dyn. 18
Lotus necklace terminal, Egypt, Dyn. 18
Monumental bronze feather, Dyn. 18
Mummy mask of a young woman, Dyn. 18
Nekhbet, vulture-goddess of Nekheb
New Year’s flask for sacred water, Dyn.18
Osiris, King of the Afterlife, Dyn. 18
Osiris of an unknown king, Dyn. 18 (?)
Osiris-Neper, god of agriculture, Dyn. 18
Pair of udjat eyes of Horus, Dyn. 18
Palm leaf amulet, Dyn. 18-19
Palm leaf amulet, Dyn. 18-19
Pillar capital, Hathor, Dyn. 18
Polychrome glass cup, Dyn 18
Queen as Goddess Mut, Dyn.18
Queen Hatshepsut as Goddess Mut, Dyn. 18
Queen Hatshepsut as Hathor, Dyn. 18
Queen Isis as Isis nursing Thutmose III
Royal situla, sacred water vessel, Dyn.18
Royal wooden sarcophagus lid, Dyn. 18
Sakhmet amulet pendant, Dyn. 18
Sarcophagus of a king, Dyn. 18
Sarcophagus of a queen, Dyn. 18
Scarab “begets the existence of Amun”
Scarab of protection, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab of Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Scarab with Amun-Re, solar discs, Dyn. 18
Scarab with ‘Ba’, Dyn. 18
Scarab with “faith in Justice,” Dyn. 18
Scarab with Goddess Hathor
Scarab with Horus of the Horizon, Dyn. 18
Scarab with ‘nsw-bity’, Dyn. 18
Scarab with ‘sa’ singing birds, Dyn. 18
Shawabti of Amen, vizier of Amenhotep III
Shawabti of Queen Mutemwia. Dyn.18
Signet-ring of Tutankhamun, Dyn. 18
Statuette of a privileged man, Dyn. 18
Stone bust of a scribe, Dyn. 18
Stone shawabti of a Nubian viceroy, Dyn. 18
Stone statue of King Thutmose III, Dyn. 18
Two cobras from the queen’s crown
Udjat eye amulet-pendant, Dyn. 18
Uninscribed wooden shawabti, Dyn. 18
Uraeus from a royal crown, Dyn. 18
Wood statue of King Smenkhkare, Dyn. 18
Wooden sarcophagus lid, Dyn. 18
Wooden sarcophagus lid, Dyn.18
Wooden sarcophagus lid, Dyn. 18

Links to others of type Finger ring

Lombard ring, Italy, 500-600 AD
Signet-ring of Tutankhamun, Dyn. 18
  This cobalt blue faience ring represents the udjat eye. It is from Amarna, late Dynasty 18.

A similar Udjat Eye is held at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge #E.473.1954.

“These faience rings were manufactured from two separate clay molds, as evidenced by the hundred recovered from excavations at the site of Amarna. faience paste was pressed into separate molds for the bezel and the shank, and the resulting pieces were jointed together with a slurry of the core material. Glaze was then applied and the whole ring fired” (Friedman 1998:123, 222 #107).

Udjat Eye
Instantly recognizable, the Udjat Eye (also wedjat, uzat) remained one of the most popular amuletic symbols from the Old Kingdom to Roman times. Although Egyptians designed countless variations on the theme over this 2500 year period, the basic design remained constant: the eye of the God Horus, drawn as a human eye with a cosmetic line extending from the outer corner of the eye, an enhanced eyebrow line, and a stylized marking below the eye evoking the cheek of a falcon.

The Udjat eye (the Egyptian word means “sound”, “whole”, “undamaged”) was reputed for its great healing and protective power. But, as noted by Hart (1986:93), it has many meanings, including “The strength of the monarch, the concept of kingship, protection against Seth [chaos], royal purification agent, wine, and offerings at the festival of the waxing moon.” The tales that account for the source of this extraordinary power are varied and colorful.

Egyptian sources document the protracted relentless fight (both in a court of law and in violent physical encounters) between Horus and Seth to settle who should inherit Egypt. Said to have lasted 80 years, this brawl yielded countless anecdotes. In one of them, Seth gouged out Horus’ left eye (you can hardly blame him, as Horus had assaulted his mother for refusing to harpoon him while they were transformed into hippopotamuses). Fortunately, Goddess Hathor intervened and healed the eye with the therapeutic application of gazelle milk (an alternate version makes the god Toth the healer, and another indicates royal saliva as the therapeutic agent of choice). However it really happened, this conveniently restored eye thus became a symbol of miraculous healing. For good measure, a later epilogue describes Horus offering his healed eye to his dead father Osiris, immediately bringing him back to life.

While the unscathed right eye of Horus symbolized the sun, the plucked and then restored left eye symbolized the moon, with the phases of the moon reflecting the damaged, plucked, healing, and healed conditions of the eye over time. Strangely, despite the symbolic importance of this healed left eye, Udjat eyes can be either left or right eyes, and often are a pair.

“Its great protective qualities can be seen from the fact that it was often depicted on the plate which covered the embalming incision on the mummy’s flank. Not only would it prevent malign influences entering, but it would also magically heal the wound. The wedjat is probably found in greater number in mummies than any other amulet, but, of course, it could also be worn in life” (Andrews 1994:43).

“The earliest wedjats are mostly very stylized… Elaborate glazed-composition wedjats… first occur in the New Kingdom. The most ornate, however, date to the Third Intermediate Period and the Twenty-fifth Dynasty… finger rings and scaraboids with their backs carved in the shape of a wedjat are typical of the Nineteenth Dynasty… If one wedjat gave protection, multiple wedjats would furnish even mor during the Third Intermediate Period… Yet while all these highly decorated types of wedjats were being produced, the basic form continued to be made. . .” (Andrews 1994:44).

Petrie (1914) classifies Udjat eyes into five types, numbered 138 though 142, each subdivided into varieties labeled with capital letters.

Bibliography (for this item)

Friedman, Florence D.
1998 Gifts of the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Faience (Florence Friedman editor). Thames and Hudson, London, UK. (123,222 # 107)

Bibliography (on Udjat Eye)

Andrews, Carol
1994 Amulets of Ancient Egypt. University of Texas Press, Texas. (43,69)

Armour, Robert A.
2001 Gods and Myths of Ancient Egypt. 2nd edition. American University in Cairo Press, Cairo, Egypt. (175)

Hart, George
1986 A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, United Kingdom. (93)

Petrie, W.M. Flinders
1914 Amulets. Constable & Company, London, UK. (33)

Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson
1995 The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. British Museum Press, London, United Kingdom. (133)

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