Feature object: Faience amulet of a desert hare, Late Period

Feature object: Faience amulet of a desert hare, Late Period
Although the museum description labels this amulet as a rabbit, domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus) did not arrive in Egypt until the late Roman-Coptic era. This amulet most likely represents a Cape hare (Lepus Capensis) which the ancient Egyptians knew as sẖʾt.
One of the earliest appearances of the Cape hare in Egyptian art is on the Hunter's palette (https://goo.gl/mI9F5s on the right hand side) from the Naqada III period (ca3200BCE).
A popular animal for hunting, the hare was also the emblem of the jurisdiction of Nome 15 in Upper Egypt which included the city of Hermopolis Magna and was the symbol of the local Hare goddess: Unas the Swift One.
Although well known throughout Egypt's history, it was not until the Late Period that hare amulets like this became very popular. The purpose of the amulets is not yet fully understood but they may relate to the swiftness of the animal, fertility and regeneration.
The biliteral hare hieroglyph represents: wn, or un (Gardiner sign E34)
Houlihan, Patrick. F (2001). "Hare". In Redford, Donald B. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press pp:80-81


  1. Look how the artist has caught the facial expression, so smug and self-satisfied. What was the meaning behind this, I wonder ? Fertility ? lol

  2. I saw some of the smallest engraved statues of so many different things animals, furniture at the Little Rock Museum when they had an exhibit of ancient EGYPTIAN History! I love to see all of the pieces of history but I also enjoy all of the information you've given! Thank you!


Post a Comment

To maintain the quality of discussion, please keep comments and questions on topic.