The Malqata Menat, late Eighteenth Dynasty
An elaborate menat necklace depicted in a relief at the Temple of Hathor at Dendera
An elaborate menat necklace depicted in a relief at the Temple of Hathor at Dendera

In ancient Egyptian religion, a menat (Ancient Egyptian: mnj.t, Arabic: منات) was a type of artefact closely associated with goddess Hathor.[1][2]

Operation

The menat was held in the hand by its counterpoise and used as a rattle by Hathor's priestesses.[3][4] It was also worn as a protective amulet, particularly by Apis bulls.[5]

Parts

The menat typically included an aegis attached to beaded strings. The other ends of the strings were tied to a counterweight that dangled on the wearer's back.[6] The aegis was often made of faience, but other materials such as leather and bronze were also used.[7] It was often inscribed or bore depictions of deities associated with Hathor.

Purpose

The necklace was meant to ensure good luck and fortune and to protect against evil spirits. It was also worn for protection in the afterlife and is often found buried with the dead, given as a grave gift since Ramesside times .[8] It was expected to foster fruitfulness and good health for women, and for men it signified virility.[9]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Ermann & Grapow, op. cit., 2, 76, 4.
  2. ^ Armour, op.cit., p. 91.
  3. ^ Ermann & Grapow, op. cit., 2, 75.18-76.3.
  4. ^ Hart, op. cit., p. 65.
  5. ^ Van der Toorn et al., op.cit., p. 70.
  6. ^ Bianchi, op. cit., p. 202.
  7. ^ Petrie Museum Collection - search for menat
  8. ^ Lurker, op. cit., p. 132.
  9. ^ Doniger, op. cit., p. 709.

References

Media related to Menat-necklace and counterpoise at Wikimedia Commons