Apotropaic Objects

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Apotropaic Objects

 

(also amulets), in archaeology and ethnology, objects and images that were attributed with the magic power to ward off evil spirits. Apotropaic objects include depictions of frightening deities, wild animals, and objects—for example the Egyptian Bes, gorgons, lions, griffins, phalli, crossed fingers, and others—which were worn as amulets next to the skin. There are also architectural reliefs in the form of wild animal snouts and similar depictions on vessels and weapons.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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