ANIKEEVA О.V., [YABLONSKY L.Т.] Amulets Depicting the Eye of Horus from Burial Mounds of Early Nomads in the Southern Urals


Olga V. Anikeeva

Candidate of Sciences (Geology and Mineralogy), Leading Researcher, Department of Monumental Sculpture,

State Research Institute for Restoration,

Gastello St., 44/1, 107014 Moscow, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.–0002–8725–4171

[Leonid T. Yablonsky]

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Head of Department of Scythian-Sarmatian Archaeology,

Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences,

Dmitriya Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

Abstract. Three faience amulets depicting the Eye of Horus (Wedjat) were discovered in the Southern Urals. They all come from burial mounds of early nomads and are dated by local chronologies to the 5th – 4th centuries BC. One pendant comes from a pristine (not looted) burial of the burial mound Filippovka I; it was found in a complex of objects covered with a mirror. The two other pendants, similar to one another, were found in looted burials of the burial mound Novy Kumak. The material and iconography of the Filippovka amulet place it close to the types 138 v, w, and z in the classification of F. Petrie, who believed that this type of depiction of the Eye of Horus had originated from the time of the 6th Dynasty (end of the Old Kingdom) and persisted through the end of the Ptolemaic Egypt. The pendants from Novy Kumak are comparable to Petrie’s types 138 r, s, and t, which appear during the 23rd Dynasty (3rd Intermediate Period) and vanish early during the Ptolemaic dynasty. An extensive import of goods from Egypt to Mediterranean countries during the 1st millennium BC resulted in the local craft centers in Syria, Judea, Anatolia, Greece, Italy and island states copying the Egyptian technologies of manufacturing glass and faience and starting manufacture of their own goods with the imported technologies. Trace analysis and analysis of faience composition showed that the pendants from Filippovka and Novy Kumak had been manufactured following different Egyptian faience recipes. SEM and SEM/EDX analyses of the Filippovka pendant suggest a possibility that it was made in handicraft centers of the Eastern Mediterranean with a borrowed technology.

L. T. Yablonsky has developed the original idea of the research, aimed at not only revealing the origin of imported items, but also identifying the purpose of these amulets in rituals of early nomads. The author has analyzed the semantics of the amulets’ image adopted in ancient Egypt, and the likely use of these amulets by nomads, made conclusions. O. V. Anikeeva has studied the iconography of amulets, their distribution among nomads, investigated the materials using natural-science methods.

Key words: early nomads, Southern Urals, Wedjat, the Eye of Horus, Egyptian faience, production technology, chronology, origin.

Citation. Anikeeva О.V., [Yablonsky L.Т.] Amulets Depicting the Eye of Horus from Burial Mounds of Early Nomads in the Southern Urals. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 63-81. (in Russian). DOI:

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Amulets Depicting the Eye of Horus from Burial Mounds of Early Nomads in the Southern Urals by Anikeeva О.V., [Yablonsky L.Т.] is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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