Fragmentary hollow-cast copper alloy votive box, also known as relic-box or animal coffin; rectangular case surmounted by a solid-cast figure of a lizard with head slightly raised; one eyelet for suspension preserved at one end of long edge to left side of lizard; part of case broken off; incomplete and corroded; such case previously contained a mummified lizard (or parts of), now empty.
- Production date
- 500 BC - 300 BC (late 5th - early 4th century?)
Height: 1.80 centimetres
Length: 3.90 centimetres
Width: 1.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Many votive boxes surmounted by a figure of a lizard were discovered in Naukratis. According to Petrie, the cache of bronzes found in a building located in the southern part of the city provided fifty-one of this category of votive boxes (Petrie 1886, 41-42). This specimen could originate from this cache that can be dated around the end of the 5th-beginning of the 4th century BC (Masson 2015). However, Griffith signalled in his notes from January 1885, several bronze reptile cases in a trench located outside the Great temenos (Masson forthcoming b).
Votive boxes of this type were particularly associated with the solar god and demiurge Atum (Weiss 2012, 278-279). They belong to the type T 15 in the typology of animal bronzes by K. Weiss (Weiss 2012, 731-738, Pl. 42g-i, Typ T 15, esp. Nr. 771-782, 784-791 from Naukratis).
Bienkowski, P., Southworth E. 1986, Egyptian Antiquities in the Liverpool Museum, I: A List of Provenanced Objects, Warminster, 85.
Petrie, W. M. F. 1886, Naukratis. Part I, 1884-5 (Third Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London, 41-42.
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: Cults, Sanctuaries and Offerings, Proceedings of the Second Naukratis Project Workshop, held at the British Museum 22nd – 23rd June 2013.
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, 278-279, 731-738, Pl. 42g-i, Typ T 15.
- Not on display
- Poor (incomplete and corroded)
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1886.31.67.k (Accession Number)