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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Although the hieroglyph for “hearing, to hear” resembles the ear of an ox, sculpted model ears such as this one, as well as ear stelae, portray human ears. Model ears were dedicated to various gods and goddesses, including Hathor, Ptah, and Thoth, who held the epithet “One Who Hears Prayers.” Of these deities, Hathor most often received small votive offerings like this. According to inscriptions on ear stelae, both the stelae and model ears likely represented the ear of the deity and encouraged the god to heed people’s appeals. An act of such private dedication is an intimate manifestation of individual contact with a deity, a new phenomenon in Egyptian religion of the New Kingdom.
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539–1075 B.C.E.
    PERIOD New Kingdom (probably)
    DIMENSIONS 1 x 1/2 x 2 1/5 in. (2.5 x 1.2 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Ear, ca. 1539–1075 B.C.E. Wood, 1 x 1/2 x 2 1/5 in. (2.5 x 1.2 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.2041.4E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.2041.4E_front_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 37.2041.4E_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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