Lochscheibenamulet

Lochscheibenamulet in silver from Syria

The Lochscheibenamulet is a amulet in blue or green faience, currently still used and produced in Iran, parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Syria, Palestine and Egypt the amulet can be found as antiquarian amulet: it is no longer produced there. This shows an interesting movement of the use of an amulet towards other regions.

The origin of the amulet itself is unclear, but may be a derivate of a much older amulet. In ancient Egypt, the Eye of Horus was considered to be a powerful amulet. It was represented on jewelry, even in mass-produced faience jewelry. By the Late Period, when Macedonians, Greeks and Romans ruled the Nile Valley, the shape of the amulet became blurred and deviated somewhat from the original: two or even four Eyes were combined into one roughly round-shaped amulet. Even later, the original shape was altogether forgotten and the amulet now had morphed into a blue or greenish faience disk, perforated with holes. It may just have survived in that shape until the present day.

 

The amulet in the background is in and photo by the Quai Branly Museum. It is an Bakhtiari (Iran) amulet for children.