University of Erfurt

Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt

Project of Dr. Shih-Wei Hsu

Ancient Egyptian amulets from the Ducal Museum Gotha (Herzogliches Museum Gotha)

An amulet is “in general a small and light object to be worn on the body, an instrument of magic with protective and apotropaic powers, providing the bearer health and other good things (talisman) and, as scape-goat, receiving evil from the sufferer”. The colour of an amulet might also play an important role in its medical and apotropaic properties. Reasons for using amulets are similar across cultures and times, i.e. for (individual) cure and protection. At the Ducal Museum Gotha, there are approximately 850 amulets, including those from the opening of the mummy in 1715. These amulets date mostly from the Late Period to the Ptolemaic Period (772–343 BC), and consist of different shapes, types, materials and colours. This research project will investigate all the diverse types, motifs and purposes of the amulets in the Ducal Museum Gotha.

Short biography

Shih-Wei HSU, Egyptologist, BA at Chinese Culture University (Taipei, Taiwan), MA at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and PhD at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests are the development of royal inscriptions, ancient Egyptian kingship and ideology. She is currently Associate Professor in the College of History of Nankai University (Tianjin, P.R. China). 

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