Neck from a vessel depicting the goddess Hathor flanked by felines
Third Intermediate Period
ca. 1070–712 B.C.
From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cache
h. 8 cm (3 1/8 in); diam. 4.5 cm (1 3/4 in)
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 125
Though fragmentary, the decoration on this gold band from the neck of a mostly missing silver vessel suggests the vessel held intoxicating drink.
The Hathor heads point to the vessel's close association with Hathor, daughter of the sun-god Re, and the flanking animals, in this case lion cubs rather than the usual cats, are a reference to Sakhmet / Bastet. All these goddesses are associated with the tale of the Distant Goddess. The Distant Goddess myth subsumes that of the Destruction of Mankind - a tale of the rampaging goddess who was only halted by intoxication. Additionally, particular festivities associated with Eye of Re goddesses seem to encourage drunkenness as a way of transcendence and association with divinity.
Formerly Theodore M. Davis Collection. Bequeathed to the Museum by Davis, 1915; accesioned, 1930.
Lythgoe, Albert M. 1907. "Recent Egyptian Acquisitions." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 12 (December), cf. pp. 195-196.