Magical Gem, Hematite, A.D. 100–250
Place of storage: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
Inventory number: 83.AN.437.59
Date: A.D. 100–250
Dimensions: 2 × 1.5 × 0.2 cm (13/16 × 9/16 × 1/16 in.)
Getty-Museum-83.AN.437.59 smaller side
Getty-Museum-83.AN.437.59 smaller side cast
In the upper section of the larger side of the gem we see three deitites: In the middle the lion-headed Chnoubis with a winged goddess at each side, probably Isis and Nephthys.
Underneath the deitites in the lower section is a uterus-symbol with a seven-bitted key.
Deities and uterus-symbel are encircled by a Ouroboros with its head at the top of the gem.
The smaller side of the gem is inscribed with a single vox magica in two lines: ορωριουθ orôriouth
This kind of gems were used as amulets for protection of the uterus.
Many ancient gems with this iconography have survived, see for other examples the Campbell Bonner Magical Gems Database:
Image source: Getty Museum 83.AN.437.59
Michel, Simone. Die Magischen Gemmen. Zu Bildern und Zauberformeln auf geschnittenen Steinen der Antike und Neuzeit. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2004), p. 335, 54.2.b (GET 50), pl. 70, 3.
Dasen, Véronique. „Healing Images. Gems and Medicine.“ Oxford Journal of Archaeology 33 (May 2014), pp. 180, 182, fig. 2.
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