Online Collections at UoB - Objects
ID number: ECM 2121
Named collection: The Eton Myers Collection
Title / Object name: Girdle of Isis (tet) Amulet
Object type: Amulet
Collector: Myers, William Joseph
Materials: Faience (blue)
Measurements: overall: 2.45 cm x 1.12 cm x 0.71 cm (H x W x D)
Modelled tet amulet with vertical dorsal pillar on reverse. Transverse piercing through pillar for suspension.
Notes: Tet amulets usually differ very little in their general appearance. They are occasionally also known as Isis girdle amulets or Isis knots, although their exact identification remains dubious. They possibly represent a cloth worn by women during menstruation, as Chapter 156 of the Book of the Dead relates them to the blood of the goddess Isis;
‘Thou hast thy blood, Isis; thou hast thy power, Isis; (thou hast thy magic,) . Amulet(s) are the magical protection of this Eldest One, restraining whoever would do him harm.
This spell is to be said over a tie-amulet of red jasper […], and put at the throat of this blessed on (on the day of joining the earth).’
The amulets first appear in 18th Dynasty contexts from the reign of Amenhotep III and from this point become common place until the end of dynastic history in Egypt. While red jasper is stipulated as the ideal material for this amulet, specimens do also exist in blue faience and the Eton Myers Collection exhibits examples of both. Red jasper is only found at a few localities in the Eastern Desert and was also symbolic of blood.
Allen, T. G. 1974. The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day: Ideas of the Ancient Egyptians Concerning the Hereafter as Expressed in their own Terms. Chicago. (p. 155)
Andrews, C. 1994. Amulets of Ancient Egypt. London. (p. 44-45)
Petrie, W. M. F. 1914. Amulets. London. (p. 23, pl. VII)