About the Artefact
Sri Lankan Amulets made of different materials
The British Museum houses 6 Sri Lankan amulets, made of different materials and largely dating from a single source and period. Amulets were, and are still worn in Sri Lanka as a charm to keep misfortune at bay. They are worn around one’s waist, neck or arm and are often engraved with a charm or contain a charm written on copper or gold or an ola leaf.
The ones collected in The British Museum are:
1. Amulet made of wild boar ivory tusk. Height: 6.10 centimetres. Weight: 50 grammes. Width: 12.60 centimetres. Depth: 2.20 centimetres. Purchased from Hugh Nevill in 1898. Museum number As1898,0703.1649. Miscellaneous number: As1980Q1.797
2. Bo leaf-shaped amulet made of metal, cloth. Length: 13 centimetres. Width: 9 centimetres. Purchased from Hugh Nevill in 1898. Museum number As1898,0703.1652. CDMS number: As1980Q1.800; EAS99209).
3. Amulet, metal leaf on cloth cotton mount. Length: 300 centimetres. Width: 8 centimetres. Museum number As1980,Q.800.
4. Amulet bead made of a conch shell and engraved. Purchased from Hugh Nevill in 1898. Height: 4.20 centimetres. Weight: 47 grammes. Width: 7 centimetres. Depth: 3.50 centimetres. Museum number As1898,0703.1654. Miscellaneous number: As1980Q1.802.
5. Amulet bead made of a conch shell. Purchased from Hugh Nevill in 1898. Diameter: 2.70 centimetres. Weight: 80 grammes. Width: 8.40 centimetres. Museum number As1898,0703.1653. Miscellaneous number: As1980Q1.801.
6. Amulet made of a wild boar’s ivory tusk. Purchased from Hugh Nevill in 1898. Height: 3.80 centimetres. Weight: 21 grammes. Width: 8.60 centimetres. Depth: 1.50 centimetres. Museum number As1898,0703.1650. Miscellaneous number: As1980Q1.798.