The Aten and a Symbol of a Goddess or Queen
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Egyptian religion during the Amarna Period is often characterized as monotheistic, but a detail on this block found at el Amarna casts some doubt on this interpretation. At the far right is a column capital of a traditional type found in temples and shrines of Hathor, one of Egypt's major goddesses. Was Hathor worshiped at el Amarna, or could the building where this column stood have been dedicated instead to Queen Nefertiti?
ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
late Dynasty 18
New Kingdom, Amarna Period
9 × 13 1/2 × 5 1/2 in., 36.5 lb. (22.9 × 34.3 × 14 cm, 16.56kg)
mount (dimensions as installed): 10 3/4 × 16 × 7 3/4 in. (27.3 × 40.6 × 19.7 cm) (show scale)
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
White limestone block with sunken relief and inscriptions, apparently part of a large scene. Slightly to the left of the center is a very deeply sunk relief of the sun with the customary rays. On each side is a lotiform column with the royal cartouche on the outer sides. At the extreme right is a Hathor-headed column. Above these runs a plain cornice on which remain traces of a very brilliant blue paint. This fragment probably represented the facade of a temple or was at least architectural in form. Remains of tomato red paint can be found below the rays for the sun. The piece appears to have been mutilated in ancient times.
Condition: The piece is very fragmentary and the surface is extensively chipped.
This item is not on view
The Aten and a Symbol of a Goddess or Queen, ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 9 × 13 1/2 × 5 1/2 in., 36.5 lb. (22.9 × 34.3 × 14 cm, 16.56kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society, 36.886. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: , 36.886_PS9.jpg)
overall, 36.886_PS9.jpg., 2018
"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.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.
What do these hieroglyphs say?
The ovals you see are called cartouches and they contain royal names.