ancientstatue popular medias
14 hours ago
Just the head and shoulders survive of this statue of Ramses II dressed as the god Osiris. The limestone statue is unusual in that much of the original paint survives. It would have originally been 30 feet tall and stood at the Portal Temple at the holy city of Abydos, which was said to be the burial place of Osiris.
Osiris was god of death, the afterlife and rebirth – three things the Ancient Egyptians were obsessed with – making him one of the most important gods in the Egyptian pantheon. Conflicting versions of the Osiris myth survive but all say that he was murdered by his jealous brother Seth. He was then briefly brought back to life with magic by his wife Isis for just long enough for him to father their son Horus, allegedly impregnating her with a bolt of lightening (ouch!).
The demons who served Seth killed Osiris again, dismembered him, scattered his body parts across Egypt and threw his penis into the Nile where it was eaten by fish (double ouch!). The Roman writer Plutarch gives this as the reason many Egyptians refused to eat fish.
Isis set out on a quest, pursued by Seth's demons, to find all the parts of Osiris and piece him back together. Osiris then went to the underworld where he became king, acting as judge over the dead, welcoming the virtuous to the afterlife and feeding the unjust to the demon Ammit, a creature with the head of a crocodile, body of a lion and arse of a hippo.
The statue is on display at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia.
#ancienthistory #arthistory #historyofart #archaeology #egypt #ancientegypt #museum #museums #limestonestatue #ancientstatue #ancientcivilisation #demonology #egyptology #osiris #egyptiangods #ammit #ramses #ramsesii #ramsesthegreat #abydos #pennmuseum #philadelphia
1 week ago
Numerous statues of 'Temple boys' have been found on the island of Cyprus dating from the 5th to the 3rd centuries BC. The boys are usually shown crouching on the ground wearing bangles, earrings and protective amulets. This example has an amulet depicting the grotesque face of a demon, possibly representing the Egyptian god Bes. The statues also often depict the boys stroking small animals such as a doves, tortoises or, in this case, a rabbit.
The meaning and purpose of these statues are unknown and they have no parallels in other parts of the Greek world that i know of. One theory I quite like is that they were offerings to celebrate the end of infancy and the beginning of childhood. It may seem strange that this was something to be celebrated but in antiquity a huge number of children died of diseases in their first couple of years and surviving long enough to become a toddler may well have been considered worthy of making an offering of thanks to the gods. ⠀⠀
The Egyptian god Bes, as I have discussed in previous posts, was a protector of infants and it is possible that the many amulets and pieces of jewellery were desperate attempts by parents to ward off the unseen evil that took so many babies.
The boys are usually posed in a way that indicates they are about the stand up, and it is possible that this represented the child's first steps, which may have formally marked the end of infancy.
Would love to hear @ancient_praxis
thoughts on these statues.
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