Glossary of ancient Egypt artifacts

Glossary of ancient Egyptian artifacts and materials

  • Amulet An amulet is an object that is typically worn on one's person, that some people believe has the magical or miraculous power to protect its holder.
  • Ankh symbol of life held by Ra
  • Benben stone(also known as a pyramidion) the top stone of the Egyptian pyramid
  • Canopic jarVessel containing internal body organs removed during mummification
  • Canopic chestThe common chest contained the four Canopic jars
  • CartonnagePapyrus or linen soaked in plaster, shaped around a body and used for mummy masks and coffins
  • Cenotaphan empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere
  • CrookSymbol of pharaonic power. Symbol of the god Osiris
  • FaienceGlasswork articles, amulets, etc.
  • False dooran artistic representation of a door, a common architectural element in the tombs
  • FlailSymbol of pharaonic power. Symbol of the god Osiris
  • Flint knife prestige funerary good, from the Naqada period until the end of the Early Dynastic Period
  • Funerary conesmall cones made from clay that were placed over the entrance of the chapel of a tomb, used almost exclusively in the Theban necropolis (Mesopotamia had clay nails)
  • HeadrestFound in tombs, etc. Typically personal, or a memorial headrest
  • Imiut fetishA religious object used in funerary rites; a stuffed, headless animal skin, often of a feline or bull, tied by the tail to a pole, terminating in a lotus bud and inserted into a stand
  • MicrolithAncient Egyptian stone flakes
  • MenatAn amulet worn round the neck. Also a musical instrument, a metal rattle (see also: sistrum)
  • MenhedA scribe's pallet
  • MummyBody after mummification
  • NaosReligious shrine; portable shrine for carrying a god
  • OstraconPottery sherd, limestone Sherd, used as writing material
  • Cosmetic paletteSlab of stone, sometimes decorated, used for preparing cosmetics. See: Narmer Palette; and: Category:Archaeological palettes.
  • PapyrusMaterial made from papyrus reeds, used as writing and painting material
  • Pectoral (Ancient Egypt)many forms. (Up to 13 additional Gardiner-unlisted determinative hieroglyphs for the "pectoral"; See Gardiner's sign list.)
  • Saqqara BirdWooden bird model
  • Sarcophagusa funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone
  • Scarab: amulet or seal in the form of an abstract dung beetle
  • SenetA board game
  • ShabtiFigurines placed in the tomb as substitutes for the tomb owner in the next world
  • Sphinx
  • Pyramid A monumental structure with a square or triangular base and sloping sides that meet in a point at the top, especially one built of stone as a royal tomb in ancient Egypt
    • StatuaryPharaonic and non-pharaonic. (Range of sizes.)
    • Amuletsnumerous, (and predynastic).
  • Stele
    • Boundary StelePlaced at boundaries.
    • Memorial StelePharaonic or non-pharaonic.
    • Monumental SteleOffered to gods, special individuals.
    • Votive Steleprivate, dedication.
    • Victory StelePharaonic.
  • Talatatlimestone wall blocks, at times painted.
  • Ushabti shabtis from the 21st Dynasty and later.

See also


  • Reeves, Nicholas. Ancient Egypt, The Great Discoveries, a Year-by-Year Chronicle,
  • Nicholas Reeves, (Thames and Hudson Ltd. London), c.2000. Glossary: p. 242

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