Large glass bottle containing glass amulets, French, c 1870-1920.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Large glass bottle containing glass amulets and religious symbols suspended from bulbs in holy water. From the De Mortillet collection in Liesse. An amulet is a personal ornament which, because of its shape, material, or colour, is believed to endow its wearer with certain powers or capabilities and offer protection. The Ancient Egyptians often used amulets to protect themselves against disease. The Egyptian words for 'amulet' come primarily from words meaning 'to guard' or 'protect' and also 'well being'.