Statue of Psametik Protected by goddess Hathor as a Cow

Artefact Details

Gallery number: 24- Ground Floor

Dynasty: 26th dynasty, reign of Ahmose II (Amasis) Khnumibre (c. 570-526 BC)

Place of discovery: Memphite Region, Saqqara North, Tomb of Psamtek 

Size: H 97.00 cm W 29.00 cm D/L 103.00 cm

Material: Greywacke

This statue of goddess Hathor was discovered together with two other statues of goddess Isis JE 38929 and god Osiris JE 38928 in the tomb of Psamtek, a high official of the late 26th Dynasty, who bears many titles as the Overseer of the Seals and the Governor of the Palace. These three statues are superb examples of their era, specifically the reintroduction of Old Kingdom stylistic features such as the smooth and rounded surfaces that contrast with the very hard stone.

Hathor is normally depicted as a cow or a woman wearing horns or cow ears and was worshiped throughout Egypt from the early Predynastic period as a member of the divine triad of Dendera together with Horus-Behdety and their son Ihy. She was associated with joy, beauty, dance and life, and carried many titles including Mistress of Life and Lady of Stars. Hathor was associated with motherhood as well as gems and precious materials, especially turquoise and gold. As Mistress of Turquoise, she is associated with a number of turquoise mines in the Sinai that bear her name.

This sculpture of the deceased with the goddess Hathor, in the form of a cow, portrays similarities to New Kingdom royal statuary, and is no doubt inspired by the chapel from the Temple of Tuthmose III at Deir el-Bahri in Thebes JE 38574-5. The modelling of the goddess is elegant in its proportions with well-defined muscular features. Her horns are incorporated into her usual crown with sun-disk and uraeus, together with two feathers. She wears a necklace composed of numerous strings of small beads gathered at each end and threaded through two or larger circular beads with a menat counterweight on her back, an emblem sacred to Hathor. Psamtek, as a pendant of her necklace, emerges from under her protection, as indicated by her left foot forward. He wears a simple bag wig and a pendant, possibly a seal, of his own. His palms are placed on his long kilt, which is inscribed with his name and titles. In keeping with the style of the companion pieces, the offering prayer is inscribed around the base in hieroglyphics.