Brilliant blue-glazed faience figurine of the goddess Sakhmet, lion-headed and throned. On her lap she holds a sacred emblem, apparently the sistrum (a metallic rattle used to provide rhythm in cult music). The throne is openwork, with on each side a pair of figures of the fertility god Nehebkau in the form of a serpent with human legs and arms. Behind the head of the goddess is the suspension loop for wearing by the living or attaching to the dead for protection. Sakhmet was appeased in rituals at the height of the summer, to avoid divine fury in forms such as plague. Nehebkau was symbol of the regenerative forces of the earth, invoked at the July-August rising of the Nile flood, marking the Egyptian New Year, and again at the midway point in the Egyptian year in about February, after sowing and before harvesting the crops. These miniature artworks were produced in some number during the 3rd Intermediate Period and Late Period.
|NATIONAL MUSEUM OF IRELAND [30/002] DUBLIN
|3RD INTERMEDIATE PERIOD
|PRESSED IN A FORM/MODEL