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Sistrum with One Cross Bar in Place

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The human face with cow’s ears and horns on the sistrum’s handle represents the goddess Hathor, who personifies heaven and motherhood. The pairs of holes originally held rods with metal disks or squares that produced sound when shaken. Egyptian myths suggest that enraged gods and goddesses became pacified at hearing the sounds of the sistrum. As a symbol of Hathor appeased, the sistrum came to be used in rituals and ceremonies for Hathor, Bastet, and other deities.
PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
DIMENSIONS 10 3/16 x 2 11/16 x 1 5/16 in. (25.9 x 6.9 x 3.4 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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CAPTION Sistrum with One Cross Bar in Place. Bronze, 10 3/16 x 2 11/16 x 1 5/16 in. (25.9 x 6.9 x 3.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.583E. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, CUR.37.586E_37.583E_37.584E_NegID_37.584E_GRPA_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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