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Statuette of Isis suckling Harpocrates

Statuette of Isis suckling Harpocrates
© BA Antiquities Museum/E. Omar

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0405

Inv.Inventory
 (Greco-Roman Museum) P.15064

where to find


showcase 15

Statuette of Isis suckling Harpocrates

Category:
Sculpture in the round, figurines / statuettes, human / gods and goddesses figurines
Date:
Ancient Egyptian period, Late Period (664-332 BCE)      
Provenance:
Unknown
Material(s):
Non-organic material, alloy, bronze
Height:
19.1 cm
Hall:
Greco-Roman Antiquities, showcase 15


Description

Bronze statuette of Isis suckling her son Horus who is sitting on her lap. Her head is surmounted by the Hathoric crown.

Divine Suckling

According to the Osirian myth, the  problem of royal succession was one of the main issues, and divine suckling had, at first, an exclusively royal meaning. The goddess milk was needed to ensure the king’s rebirth as full king, either in the Netherworld after his death or on earth, each time the power was transmitted or renewed (namely on coronation and jubilees).

Isis and Horus

Statuettes representing Isis suckling her son Horus were very common among Late Period figurines and were made of bronze or glazed compositions.
From the Late Period on, the “democratization” of funerary beliefs led to the popularity of such figures. The object was intended as an ex-voto to be placed in sanctuaries.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • Andrews, Carol. Egyptian Amulets. London :British Museum, 1994.
  • D'Aria, Sue et al. Mummies and Magic: The Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1988.
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