ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
Behold:



These figures appear on the back pillar of a magical healing statue, Turin 3031, which portrayed a man holding a Horus cippus. Only the lower part has survived.

If that's an accurate rendering of "Sekhmet the Great, beloved of Ptah", then her phallus seems to have slid down to her knees. Kákosy compares her to other lioness-headed, ithyphallic figures, from Karnak and Hibis, and also "the statue in Naples inv. 1065 back pillar right side ref V.1.", which alas I seem to have neglected to photocopy.

There are enough examples of this figure - the ithyphallic lioness-headed goddess - to say that it was definitely A Thing, a rare example of androgyny in Egyptian religion. But what did it mean to the ancients? If it's a syncretism between Mut or Sekhmet and a specific male god or gods, then why not name them? Perhaps it was comparable to pantheistic figures - showing that the deity in question had the powers of all the gods, male and female?

ETA: Figures labelled as Sekhmet appear elsewhere on the same statue - which makes sense for a goddess associated with sickiness and healing. The goddess takes various forms: holding two snakes; holding a long double-headed snake ("Sekhmet who subdues the Rebel"); as a lion-headed uraeus, presented with the wedjat by a baboon (presumably a reference to the tale of the Distant Goddess); and as a lion lying on a shrine, wearing the atef crown ("Sekhmet the Great who dwells in the City" (perhaps Thebes)).

Nefertum also makes multiple appearances, firstly to the left of Horus on the cippus, in the form of a lotus with tall plume hung with two pairs of menits. The texts on the cippus which refer to this symbol name "Horus the Saviour", who Kákosy speculates was identified with Nefertem in this case. Kákosy writes that this symbol was "a potent emblem" and says that Nefertem and his lotus often appear in magic; Horus on the papyrus, which appears on the right side of the cippus opposite Neferterm's symbol as its "counterpart", "may have been the symbol of rejuvenation and freshness of health" as well as the union of male and female (many goddesses hold a papyriform sceptre).

There are several other interesting figures, such as Sobek pulling a snake out of his mouth and two cats flanking a sistrum. "Khonsu the Great who came forth from the Nun" appears in the form of a crocodile on a pedestal with a falcon-head and sun-disc emerging from its back.

__
Kákosy, László. Egyptian Healing Statues in Three Museums in Italy: Turin, Florence, Naples. Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali, Soprintendenza al Museo delle antichità egizie, 1999.
ikhet_sekhmet: (Endymion)
Some more figures of interest (to me!) from Dr. Cruz-Uribe's catalogue of the gods of Hibis Temple:

  • Mut - lioness-headed, enthroned, holding the wedjat eye (p 2)
  • Mut foremost of the temple of Ptah - enthroned, mummiform, holding something (lost), wearing skullcap. (p 14)
  • "Female figure, with arms at sides, stands between two cats seated on stands." (p 13) Next to:
  • Mut, foremost of the "Horns of the gods". Falcon-headed, with small disc and uraeus, arms at sides. (p 13)
  • Mut, foremost of the temple of Ptah. Standing, wedjat eye on head. [Helck MDAIK 23 1968 p 123 line 11; Gardiner AEO II 125; Holmberg, Ptah, p 190] (p 13)

  • Sekhmet the great, beloved of Ptah - recumbent lion on pedestal (p 14) [Germond p 341]
  • Sekhmet, lady of (possibly siw or sinw?) - hedgehog (?) on pedestal. [Germond 92 no 26; Brunner-Traut Spitzmaus 161; Aufrere BIFAO 85 1985 23] (p 39-40)
  • Sekhmet in the mansion of the ka - enthroned, mummiform, lioness-headed, atef crown. (Shares a platform with Ptah.) (p 42)
The ear is questionable. It may only be damage to wall. )
___
Cruz-Uribe, Eugene. Hibis temple project, Vol 1: Translations, commentary, discussions and sign list. San Antonio, Texas, Van Siclen Books, 1988.
ikhet_sekhmet: (ankh-mi-re)
Via my dad: Sydney's Powerhouse Museum has a nice little collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a small bronze statue of Nefertem.

Current exhibition at NYU: The Lost World of Old Europe: the Danube Valley 5000-3500 BCE

A Sharper Focus on Antiquity: 1997 University of Georgia news item about the crucial first word of a Ugaritic tablet, KTU 1.96 (a spell against the evil eye), properly read for the first time thanks to expert photography. It was thought for decades to be about Anat being a cannibal, but in fact the text doesn't mention her at all!

The Brooklyn Museum's brief description of last year's exhibition The Fertile Goddess includes some beautiful images of prehistoric figurines.

Nefertem

Nov. 25th, 2007 05:17 pm
ikhet_sekhmet: (Default)
Just some quick notes on the Egyptian lotus god Nefertem, "the son of that ill-assorted couple", Ptah and Sekhmet. :-)

Read more... )

___
Hayes, William C. The Egyptian God of the Lotus: A Bronze Statuette. Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 33(8), August 1938, pp 182-184.

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Plaything of Sekhmet

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