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Amulet of a Leg and Foot

A work made of carnelian.
Public Domain

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  • A work made of carnelian.


Late Old Kingdom–First Intermediate Period, Dynasty 5–11 (about 2494–2055 BCE)



About this artwork

Small-scale Egyptian figurines, known as amulets, were thought to promote health and good luck. Amulets were such an important part of Egyptian religious beliefs that they were worn by both the living and the dead. They could be mounted on rings or strung as bracelets or necklaces and were placed among the mummy wrappings to secure the deceased’s rebirth and well-being in the afterlife. There are many varieties of amulets, including figures of deities, parts of the human (or divine) body, animals, plants, and objects of daily life. The leg and foot were thought to provide the deceased mobility in the afterlife. A few examples of these types of amulets have been found on the ankles of mummies.


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Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Amulet of a Leg and Foot


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.

Made 2494 BCE–2055 BCE




2 × 1 × 0.3 cm (3/4 × 3/8 × 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Henry H. Getty and Charles L. Hutchinson

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

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