Amuletic necklace, from Hebron, Palestine, c 1880-1930.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This necklace consists of 25 glas discs threaded on a string, each with inlaid circles of glas resembling eyes. It was used for protection against the Evil Eye. 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'.