votive box (Scope note)

The term refers to a small, usually rectangular, receptacle in bronze or wood, made to contain the mummified body, or part of a mummified body, of a creature (animal, bird, reptile, fish, insect) which would have been presented as a votive offering to a deity. The creature represented on the top of the box and contained in the box is usually associated with the deity. If the votive box contains the remains of the animal, a second Object Name 'animal remains' should be entered and if the figure surmounting the box is still present, the additional Object Name 'figure' should be entered. N.B. Votive boxes are sometimes referred to as relic-boxes or animal coffins, but these terms are misleading since they do not reflect the nature and purpose of these objects.