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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Headrest amulet

This headrest amulet is carved in the round with fine cutting. The fine-grained and highly polished black stone is in perfect condition. Such amulets were common in Late Period burials, where their magic was intended to lift the head of the deceased at the moment of resurrection.


By 1836: Robert Hay Collection, Linplum, Scotland; 1863: to his son, Robert James Alexander Hay; 1868-1872: Way Collection, Boston (purchased by Samuel A. Way through London dealers Rollin and Feuardent, 27 Haymarket); 1872: given to the MFA by Samuel's son, C. Granville Way. (Accession Date: June 28, 1872)

Credit Line

Hay Collection—Gift of C. Granville Way

Egyptian, Hellenistic Period (early Ptolemaic Dynasty), 3rd century B.C., 305–200 B.C.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique



The Ancient World


Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets