Statue of Isis protecting Osiris

From Karnak, Egypt
26th (Saite) Dynasty, around 590 BC

Dedicated by Sheshonq, chief steward of a 'god's wife'

This statue was dedicated by Sheshonq, a steward of the god's wife Ankhnesneferibre, whose sarcophagus is also in The British Museum.

Isis holds her wings either side of Osiris, her spouse, in a gesture of protection. She wears a modius, a crown of uraei, topped with the cows' horns and sun disc worn by many goddesses. Osiris is, as usual, mummiform, wearing the crown with the two feathers known by its Egyptian name atef.

The statue is thought to come from one of two chapels which were dedicated to forms of Osiris worshipped at Karnak. These chapels were built and extended by the god's wives of Amun and the kings with whom they were associated.

This is probably the same Sheshonq as the owner of the large tomb (number 27) in Thebes, still to be seen at the east end of the area in front of the temple of Deir el-Bahari known as the Assasif.

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More information


E. Graefe, Untersuchungen zur Verwaltung (Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 1981)

S. Quirke, Ancient Egyptian religion (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


Height: 81.300 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 1162



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