Gold, Gods, & Titles: What's in a Name?


The Kingdom of Kush, an ancient kingdom in sub-Saharan Africa, was renowned for its gold deposits. Kushite Kings mined the gold, gave it as gifts to foreign lands, and molded it into precious objects and tomb treasures. This ram's head amulet is made of gold dating back to the 25th Dynasty of ancient Kemet (now known as Egypt) when Kushite Pharaohs ruled both the lands of Upper and Lower Kemet and Kush. It is dated between 712 and 664 B.C.

Reliefs and other representations show Kushite pharaohs with this ram's head amulet hanging from a cord worn about their necks. The Kushite god, Amun Ra, was closely associated with the ram, a symbol of virility and fertility. "Amun" became "Amani" in the later Meroitic Period of the Kingdom of Kush during 270 B.C. to 400 A.D. This is evidenced in the naming of certain rulers such as Pharaoh Tanwetamani, King Arkamani, Queen Amanitore, Queen Amanishakheto,  and King Natakamani.

Photocredit: @metmuseum
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