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Faience vessel decorated with a depiction of the god Heh

 

Height: 9.000 inches

Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations

GR 1897.4-1.999

Room 72: Ancient Cyprus

    Faience vessel decorated with a depiction of the god Heh

    Egyptian, 1350-1150 BC
    From Tomb 61, Enkomi, Cyprus

    The god of infinity

    This faience vase has been made in the form of a closed lotus flower. It is decorated with a depiction of Heh. The primary meaning of the term Heh was 'millions', but Heh was transformed into the Egyptian god of infinity (as seen here), by association with the symbols for year and for rebirth. The god is shown in his usual guise as a kneeling man holding notched palm ribs (hieroglyphic symbol for 'year') in each hand and carrying one on his head. He is also holding lotus flowers, symbolic of rebirth. An Egyptian creation myth describes the new-born sun rising out of a lotus floating on the waters of Nun, personification of the ocean of chaos. Heh was also one of the Ogdoad, a group of eight primeval deities whose main cult centre was at Hermopolis Magna.

    This vessel was found in one of the tombs at Enkomi in Cyprus, which contained many imported items, illustrating both the wealth of the occupants and the island's key position in the circulation of cultural influences during the Late Bronze Age

    V. Tatton-Brown, Ancient Cyprus, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)