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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?

MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
DATES ca. 1352-1336 B.C.E.
DYNASTY late XVIII Dynasty
PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
DIMENSIONS 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)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Society
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CAPTION 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)
IMAGE overall, 36.886_PS9.jpg., 2018
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