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Figure of Taweret

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Many deities in the official Egyptian pantheon can be recognized by their headdresses. The Double Crown of the beneficent goddess Mut, whose name means “mother,” characterizes her as a conveyor of kingship and the divine mother of pharaoh. Amun, whose name means “hidden,” is portrayed as a man wearing a tall, plumed crown. When he appears with a solar disk at the base of the crown, he is known as Amun-Re, who possesses both hidden and solar creative powers. When shown in tightly enveloping garb and with an erection, he may be called Amun-Re-Kamutef, associated with fertility and regeneration. An amulet in this virile attitude would have held the promise of eternal rebirth after death. Monthly rebirth is also invoked by the full and crescent moons of Khonsu, the divine heir of Amun and Mut.

In popular religion the protection of pregnancy and birth was entrusted to such deities as Taweret and Bes. The appearance of Taweret, “The Great One,” as a pregnant hippopotamus with lion and crocodile features is a dramatic symbol of protective motherhood. The dwarf with a lion’s face and legs likely represents Bes, who was worshipped in the home as a protector of motherhood, birth, and rebirth.
MEDIUM Faience, glazed
DATES ca. 664-525 B.C.E.
DYNASTY XXVI Dynasty
PERIOD Late Period
DIMENSIONS 2 1/2 x 1/2 x 13/16 in. (6.4 x 1.2 x 2.1 cm)  (show scale)
ACCESSION NUMBER 05.345
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Figure of Taweret, ca. 664-525 B.C.E. Faience, glazed, 2 1/2 x 1/2 x 13/16 in. (6.4 x 1.2 x 2.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 05.345. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery A-2 installation, CUR.05.345_wwgA-2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (76%)
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