Amulet Block With the Eye of Horus
source: Wikimedia Commons
A photograph shows a blue-tinted amulet block with a relief of the Eye of Horus. Patterns carved in relief decorate the area above the eye and to either side.
Artifact: 724–31 BC
This ancient Egyptian amulet bears a relief of the Eye of Horus. Within ancient Egyptian mythology, the god Horus lost his eye to an attack from Seth, an evil deity. However, 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.
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.