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Temple Relief of Ramses II and the Goddess Anat

Egyptian kings were considered part human and part divine. Preserved here are parts of two shrines, each with a standing image of Ramesses II surmounted by a sun disk and protective cobras. The female figure in the left shrine is Anat-of-Ramesses-Beloved-of-Amun, a form of the Near Eastern goddess Anat that was worshiped in Egypt and may here be a manifestation of a divine aspect of Ramesses. Although this relief may come from a temple, it somewhat resembles blocks from a private tomb at Saqqara showing seated pair statues of Ramesses with a deity in a similar combination of raised and sunk relief. The tomb scene may commemorate one of the Sed-festivals of royal renewal that Ramesses began celebrating in his thirtieth year as pharaoh. Even if carved that late in Ramesses's reign, the figures here are stylistically similar to some images of his earlier year as king.

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