- Museum number
Hollow-cast figure of an ichneumon or Egyptian mongoose in copper alloy; depicted standing, with forelegs raised in an attitude of worship; lower section missing; corroded and damaged by fire; eight further fragments of this object, not displayed, also survived; mummy-case which previously contained a mummified ichneumon, now almost empty.
- Production date
- 500 BC - 350 BC (probably late 5thC - early 4thC)
Thickness: 0.35 - 1.20 centimetres
Height: 31.50 centimetres
Width: 10.20 centimetres
Depth: 9.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This large figure was found with a large group of copper alloy in a building located in the southern part of the town (Petrie 1886, 41-42). 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 specimen belongs to the type T 39 in the typology of animal bronzes by K. Weiss (Weiss 2012, 799-800, Taf. 51c, Typ T 39, esp. Nr. 1075 from Naukratis). Ichneumons are particularly associated with the solar god and demiurge Atum, as well as with Horus of Letopolis (Weiss 2012, 308-309). Atum is particularly well-represented at Naukratis particularly in the category of votive box and especially in the shape of reptiles such as lizards and snakes (Masson forthcoming b).
Two other bronzes representing ichneumons were discovered in Naukratis: figure of an ichneumon walking on small base, Boston Museum of Fine Arts 86.282; group-figure depicting two ichneumons, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 86.262.
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.
- On display (G13/dc7)
- Exhibition history
2016, 19 May-27 Nov, BM exhibition Sunken Treasures
- fair (incomplete)
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number