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Hippo

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Great Hall, Southwest, 1st floor
Placing an image of a hippo in the tomb was believed to provide powerful protection for the spirit of the deceased. At the same time, hippos evoke chaotic forces because of the danger they pose to humans as wild animals in this world. For this reason, Egyptians often snapped off the legs of hippopotamus statuettes before placing them in tombs. The broken stumps of the statuette’s legs demonstrate how bright blue glaze adhered to the white faience.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Made: Africa
  • DATES ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty-XVII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom to Second Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 3 × 2 1/4 × 4 1/2 in. (7.6 × 5.7 × 11.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Great Hall, Southwest, 1st floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 35.1276
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Hippo, ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E. Faience, 3 × 2 1/4 × 4 1/2 in. (7.6 × 5.7 × 11.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 35.1276. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.35.1276_view1_erg2.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.35.1276_view1_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 10/27/2008
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