Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The sema-hieroglyph, used in the words “unification,” “to unite,” and their derivatives, represents an animal’s lungs and windpipe. As such, the shape of this sign frequently appears in Egyptian art in scenes of the king uniting the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt. As an amulet, the sema-hieroglyph ensured a unified corpse, integral to one’s survival in the afterlife.
The customary choice of dark stone for this amulet refers to the darkness of the night sky and the fertile silt of the Nile’s inundation (or annual flooding)—the sources of the daily rebirth of the sun and the yearly regeneration of nature.
XXVI Dynasty or later
1 1/4 × 9/16 × 3/16 in. (3.1 × 1.4 × 0.5 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father Charles Edwin Wilbour
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Lungs-and-Windpipe Amulet, 664-332 B.C.E. Obsidian, 1 1/4 × 9/16 × 3/16 in. (3.1 × 1.4 × 0.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.580.60. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.16.580.60_bodyparts.jpg)
installation, Body Parts Installation (2009), CUR.16.580.60_bodyparts.jpg
. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.