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Amulet of a Lion-Headed Goddess with Kitten

A work made of faience.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of faience.


Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 21–25 (about 1069–664 BCE)



About this artwork

Ancient Egyptians, both living and dead, wore amulets of gods and goddesses to bring protection and health. These small charms depicted deities in their human, animal, or mixed forms. Here, a powerful striding figure draws the eye, but who is the small cat at her feet? This amulet likely represents the lioness goddess Sekhmet or the cat goddess, Bastet. In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet and Bastet both act as the Eye of Re, the daughter/protector of the sun god, Re. Sekhmet was known for her ferocious nature, while Bastet was thought to be a gentler form of the same goddess. Ancient Egyptians recognized the fickle moodiness of felines, a quality still associated with today’s domesticated cats. The amulet represents this duality by showing the goddess in both her lion and cat forms.


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Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Amulet of a Lion-Headed Goddess with Kitten


Egypt (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1069 BCE–664 BCE




7.7 × 1.8 × 2.7 cm (3 1/16 × 3/4 × 1 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Charles L. Hutchinson, Henry H. Getty, and Norman W. Harris

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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