Two Amulets Depicting Manus Fica and Phallus from Patara
Osmaniye Korkut Ata Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Osmaniye/ TÜRKİYE
Keywords: Patara, Bone, Amulet, Manus Fica, Phallus.
The belief in the existence of the evil eye and the idea of people protecting themselves from it date back to the Ancient Period. In addition to prayers or certain gestures that assume a protective meaning, it was believed that carrying some objects, such as amulets, would keep evil eye away. The belief in this protectiveness was not limited only to lifetime. The fact that there are many examples as grave gifts shows that protection was thought to continue after death. The two bone amulets found in Patara are the subject of this article. One end of the amulets is shaped like a manus fica and the other end is shaped like a phallus. It is believed that the manus fica gesture made by placing the thumb between the index finger and the middle finger generally protected people against the evil eye in the Ancient Period. Apart from being depicted alone on amulets, there are also double-ended examples in which the manus fica was used together with another apotropaic element, the phallus, as in the Patara finds. The examples of this type of amulets found in Patara excavations, which were frequently used in the western provinces of the Roman Empire, are rare for Anatolia due to their double-sided use of both manus fica and phallus.