Eye of Horus Ring
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Einsamer Schütze
A photograph shows a blue-tinted earthenware ring of the Eye of Horus. The eye is depicted in relief and negative space on the face of the ring. The artifact bears signs of old age.
Artifact: 19th–11th century BC
This ancient Egyptian ring depicts the Eye of Horus. Within ancient Egyptian mythology, the god Horus lost his eye to an attack from Seth, an evil deity. Horus’ mother, Isis, restored his eye. As such, the eye of Horus served as a symbol of healing and protection in ancient Egypt. Physicians would use amulets of the eye in rituals, and both the living and the dead would wear them for protection.
Though this specific ring is not dated, similar rings from ancient Egypt typically date from the 19th to 11th centuries BC.
There is an argument that the Eye of Horus is the origin of the Rx prescription symbol, as they bear similarities and are both used in healthcare contexts. This is mostly speculation, as detailed in the linked article.
Zebroski, B. (2016). A brief history of pharmacy: Humanity’s search for wellness. New York: Routledge.
Enderle, J. D. (2011). Introduction to biomedical engineering. London: Academic Press.