Amulet, statuette


722-332 BC


Late Period


4 1/4 x 1 1/2 in. (10.8 x 3.8 cm)

Object Number



Pregnancy, birth, and its aftermath were times of great risk for both mothers and their offspring, and women needed deities to whom they could turn for protection against the dangers involved. One such deity was the goddess Taweret, who was depicted with the head of a hippopotamus, the limbs and paws of a lion, a mane in the form of a crocodile's tail, pendulous breasts, and a belly swollen in pregnancy. Her grotesque appearance was probably meant to ward off malicious spirits and to harness the terrifying powers of the hippopotamus, lion, and crocodile so that they might act as protection for women and their offspring. Although there were no state temples dedicated to the goddess, her image appears on domestic objects, such as cosmetic items, and amulets in the form of the goddess have been found at a number of settlement sites and at temples, where they were presented as votive offerings. The provenance and exact function of the piece shown here is unknown.

Credit Line

Gift of William S. Arnett


MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2001 - January 2011|
Monsters, Demons & Winged Beasts: Composite Creatures in the Ancient World, Michael C. Carlos Museum, February 5 - June 19, 2011|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, June 20, 2011 - Present
Michael C. Carlos Museum Handbook (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 1996), 22.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2008.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Taweret,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 11, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/6712.

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