Solid-cast figure, or more probably fragment of an amuletic group-figure, in copper alloy; only preserved figure depicting the goddess Nephthys, standing with her left arm along her body and her right arm raised to the side; wearing her characteristic headdress in the shape of a house and basket; simplistic and flat rendering; feet and right hand broken off; very corroded.
- Production date
- 500 BC - 350 BC (late 5th - early 4th century?)
Height: 7.70 centimetres
Thickness: 1.20 centimetres
Width: 2.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- So far, this is the only bronze representing Nephthys that we have identified from Naukratis. Among the finds from the cache of bronzes, Petrie listed two broken figures of Nebhat (= Nephthys) (on this cache and its content: Petrie 1886, 41- 42; Masson forthcoming a). Such findspot is therefore likely for this figure. The cache was probably made around the late 5th-early 4th c. BC, but some bronzes from this cache could be earlier in date (Masson 2015).
This figure does not represent Nephthys standing alone with both arms along her body (such as in Weiss 2012, 234-235, 689-690, Pl. 34d, Typ 130, esp. Nr. 1575 for this specimen). According to her raised right arm to her right side, it belongs to a group-figure depicting Osiris flanked by his sisters Isis and Nephthys, a rare type also attested in Saqqara (Weiss 2012, 349-350, 845-846, Pl. 60h, Typ G30).
A second group-figure depicting the Osirian triad, with Osiris flanked by Isis and Harpokrates (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 86.261), originated from the cache of bronzes and it displays a similar flat and crude design: (Masson forthcoming b).
Masson, A. 2015, ‘Cult and Trade. A reflexion on Egyptian metal offerings from Naukratis’, in D. Robinson and F. Goddio (eds), Thonis Heracleion in Context, Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology Monograph 8, Oxford, 71-88.
Masson, A. forthcoming b, ‘Naukratis: Egyptian offerings in context’, in M. Bergeron and A. Masson (eds), Naukratis in Context II: Cults, Sanctuaries and Offerings. Proceedings of the Second Naukratis Project Workshop held at the British Museum, 22nd – 23rd June 2013.
Petrie, W. M. F. 1886, Naukratis. Part I., 1884-5 (Third Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London.
Weiss, K. 2012, Ägyptische Tier- und Götterbronzen aus Unterägypten: Untersuchungen zu Typus, Ikonographie und Funktion sowie der Bedeutung innerhalb der Kulturkontakte zu Griechenland, Ägypten und Altes Testament 81.
- Not on display
- Poor, broken and very corroded
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 9,9,86,104 (Accession Number)