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Model of a Votive Temple Gateway at Heliopolis (49.183)

This reconstruction of an ancient Egyptian model, the original of which is displayed in another gallery on this floor, shows how the model would have looked when new. Although the model's inscriptions do not reveal its purpose, they do indicate that it was dedicated by the Nineteenth Dynasty king Seti I (reigned circa 1294–1279 B.C.) to the gods Khepri (the rising sun), Re-Horakhty (the risen sun), and Atum (the setting sun).

As holder of the divine office of kingship, pharaoh was the main intermediary between deities and humanity and, theoretically, the builder of all temples. In the model's decoration, as in most temple reliefs, he alone is shown in divine company. The decoration depicts Seti in a standard, expressive pose of offering before each of the three gods to whom he is dedicating the model. His offerings, one an image of Ma'at, change from figure to figure. The deities are represented only by their names, each of which was believed to convey an aspect of the deity's essence.


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