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Long-sleeved linen tunic

 

Width: 19.700 cm
Length: 34.300 cm

EA 43071

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Long-sleeved linen tunic

    From Thebes, perhaps Deir el-Bahari, Egypt
    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 often received votive offerings. She was a deity with wide responsibilities including joy, music and dance. She was also one of the major deities with a popular cult; ordinary people could appeal to these gods and goddesses.

    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)

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