Width: 19.700 cm
Length: 34.300 cm
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Long-sleeved linen tunic
From Thebes, perhaps Deir el-Bahari,
Possibly 19th Dynasty, about 1275 BC
A votive tunic with an image of the goddess Hathor
A votive object is one that is offered to a
deity, often with prayers, in the hope of receiving good fortune.
Many types of object were left in temples all over Egypt for this
purpose. The goddess
Hathor's cult was very prominent on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, in the area of the temples of Deir el-Bahari. Here there was a shrine specifically dedicated to Hathor, as well as a shrine in the temples of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III.
This small tunic bears an image of Hathor as a cow coming out of the mountain of the West, an extremely common Theban motif associated with burial and rebirth. Below is an inscription of the woman who dedicated the tunic. It has been described as the tunic of a child, but it is more likely to be one specially produced for the purpose.
S. Quirke, Ancient Egyptian religion (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)
G. Pinch, Votive Offerings to Hathor (Oxford, Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, 1993)