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Bronze figure of Horus of Pe


Height: 26.000 cm

EA 11498

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Bronze figure of Horus of Pe

    From Egypt
    Late Period, after 600 BC

    Horus of Pe, performing a ritual dance

    This falcon-headed deity is associated with Buto, the ancient capital of the Nile Delta in Egypt before the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt. Horus of Pe's southern counterpart is the jackal-headed Horus of Nekhen, ancient Hierakonpolis (the modern town of Kawm Al-ahmar). These two gods are known as the 'Souls' of their respective towns. They symbolize the Predynastic rulers of these areas and act as the protective ancestors of the king. The two gods were particularly associated with the coronation and jubilees of the king, in their role as guardians of the divine kingship.

    The figures are traditionally shown kneeling on one knee, with one arm raised and the other crossing the chest. It is likely that this unusual pose was part of a ritual dance. The left arm of the figure was cast separately to achieve the pose.

    The eyes, cheeks and wig of this statuette were once inlaid, though no fragments have survived to indicate the materials used. The textured surface of the body perhaps indicates that it was covered with gold leaf. This suggests that the figure was dedicated by a very wealthy individual, perhaps even the king himself. Unfortunately the base of the statuette, which would probably have been inscribed with the name of the owner, is lost.

    C.A.R. Andrews, Eternal Egypt: treasures from, exh. cat. (Hong Kong, Museum of Art, 1998)


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