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Gold amulet, Egypt, 2000-100 BCE

Many people still believe that amulets have magical or spiritual powers, bringing good luck and good health while providing protection from sickness and harm. A female cobra with its hood raised in a uraeus pose is punched into this thin gold amulet, which is just over 10 mm in height. A uraeus was a symbol of authority used by ancient Egyptian kings and queens. The cobra was said to spit poison into the eyes of an enemy. The amulet would have been worn around the neck.

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Glossary: uraeus

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Glossary: amulet

Small object or piece of jewellery worn as a protecting charm to ward off ill health and bad luck.