Amuletic stones, 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
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'. This charm consisting of eleven stones with natural holes wih wire threaded through them was hung at the head of a bed to prevent nightmares. Measurements: 127x122x63 millimetres.