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Apotropaion

Date: 1773–1650 B.C.
Medium: hippopotamus tusk
Dimensions: 32 x 4 cm
Classification: religious or cult object
Acquisition Credit: purchased from an art dealer, 2005
Inventory Number: 2005.1-E
Department: Egyptian Art

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+Description

Apotropaion

The shape of objects used to ward of evil and often called “magic knives” or “magic wands” typically follows the natural curve of hippopotamus tusks. According to research data on currently available archaeological finds, these magic objects made of bone were used in the Middle Kingdom and shortly afterwards (Dynasties XII-XVII, 20th-16th centuries).