Ancient Egyptian knife in museum in The Netherlands


Sekhmet, Egyptian lioness goddess

From the Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden in Leiden in The Netherlands:

The Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden has a new object: the magical knife.

This knife, found in Egypt, is from 2000 – 1600 BCE, and was made from a hippopotamus tusk.

In the soft lower layer, various animal figures were carved: snakes, a frog, a winged griffon, a standing lioness and a panther with snake-like neck.

All animals hold big knifes, or are biting snakes.

Protecting babies

With those ‘magic knives’ the ancient Egyptians hoped to protect babies and small children.

Not just against snakes and scorpions, but also against evil forces which according to them caused children’s diseases and fevers.

The magician (but maybe also the midwife or the young mother herself) with the knife drew a circle on the floor around the child.

No animal or evil spirit would be able to cross that line to harm the child.

This unusual knife can be seen in the Archeotheek of the museum.

5 thoughts on “Ancient Egyptian knife in museum in The Netherlands

  1. Hi michelle, as the museum press release did not mention the points you name very extensively, I of course also did not mention them very extensively in my translation; or it would not have been a faithful translation. By the way, my translation did mention that the knife was made from a hippopotamus tusk; and also what it was used for.

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