Egyptian Cat Amulet

An image of two stone cats that are brownish-yellow with green on their chests. They are sitting on a grey background.
Egyptian cat amulet from the Eldon House collection. Image courtesy of Joe O'Neil

Country of Origin: Egypt
Year: ca. 2613-2181 BCE
Materials: Stone 

This piece is the oldest item in the Eldon House collection. It is likely from the Old Kingdom, also known as the “Age of the Pyramids,” in Egypt. The item is made of stone and was worn as an amulet.

Cats are interesting symbol in ancient Egyptian culture. They were often kept as pets or for pest control, but their characteristics were also aligned with various gods and goddesses including Bastet and Sekhmet, who are sometimes portrayed with feline features. Cats become associated with these deities and hold prominent places in Egyptian art and burial, sometimes being mummified alongside Egyptian people.