Earthenware Eye of Horus Amulet
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Marie-Lan Nguyen
A photograph shows a blue-tinted earthenware amulet of the Eye of Horus. The eye is depicted in relief on a single piece of pottery.
Artifact: 6th–4th century BC
This ancient Egyptian amulet depicts the Eye of Horus. Ancient Egyptian mythology relates that 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.