Wooden Amulet of the Eye of Horus (Worn)

Wooden Amulet of the Eye of Horus (Worn)

license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: LACMA

A photograph shows a piece of wood carved in the silhouette of the Eye of Horus. Nothing is carved in relief, suggesting the amulet originally bore a painting of the eye.


Artifact: 724–30 BC

Photo: 2013

the Eye of Horus
the Eye of Horus

This ancient Egyptian amulet likely once bore a painting of the Eye of Horus, though the image appears to have worn off. 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.

Related Articles

Ancient Egyptian MedicineRx, Prescription Symbol Origin


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.