Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Child God

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 6.7 cm (2 5/8 in.); W. 2.2 cm (7/8 in.); D. 4.2 cm (1 5/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889
Accession Number:
89.2.586
Not on view
The figure represents a child god in a seated/reclining position, wearing a large uraeus on his forehead, which alludes to his royal and divine status. The child god is distinguished from adult gods by a range of iconographic clues: his nudity, the finger raised to the mouth (a child-like gesture), and the thick sidelock on the right side of his head. A large suspension loop rests at the back of his neck.
Child gods grew in popularity and cult from the Third Intermediate Period onwards, rivaling even the most powerful and ancient gods, especially as temple offerings. The best known is Horus the Child (Harpokrates), who was the son of Isis and Osiris, but many others existed, including Khonsu the Child, Ihy, and Harsiese, among others. Thus it is difficult to assign a precise identity to this statuette without an associated inscription.
Donated by Joseph W. Drexel, Philadelphia, 1889.

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