Amulets were often used for magical protection. They were used both by the living and the dead. Many amulets have been found in Egyptian tombs. These amulets are in the shape of gods, goddesses, animals, objects, parts of the body, etc. and were believed to contain special powers. Many amulets were wrapped up with the mummy. The mummy of King Tut is a good example and many such amulets were found wrapped in his mummy. Many different substances were also used in the making of amulets which included stone, wood, clay, etc. Since certain substances possessed certain powers, it was important to choose the right substance for a specific type of amulet. Magic writing was also considered an amulet and many such types of magical papyrus have been found in tombs. Thus, wearing of amulets during life was the means of seeking the gods protection and help. After death a special protection was also needed.
Amulets are close cousins to the talisman (from the Greek word “telein” which means “to initiate into the mysteries”. These are objects intended to bring protection or good luck to its wearer. These often have symbols, gems, carvings or even words on them to enforce its magical essence.