Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Child god with the Amonian crown named Horus of Mednit (Aphroditopolis)

Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
664–30 B.C.
From Egypt
Cupreous metal, precious metal inlay
H. 26.8 cm (10 9/16 in.); W. 5.4 cm (2 1/8 in.); D. 10 cm (3 15/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Lily S. Place, 1923
Accession Number:
Not on view
The figure represents a child god in a seated/reclining position, wearing the double feather crown, which associates him with the god Amun. The child god is usually distinguished from adult gods by a range of iconographic clues: his nudity, the finger raised to the mouth (a child-like gesture), and a sidelock on the right side of his head. The right arm is at his side, like the left arm, but the sidelock and his nudity suffice for identification as a child god. An amulet hangs beneath the broad collar on the chest, and the amulet is another attribute common to child gods but not adult gods. The figure also has a slightly rounded, chubby belly, showcasing his ability to bring about prosperity and abundance.
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 importance of this god is made clear through his adornments: the finely carved crown with a streamer that overlaps the broad collar on the back, the broad collar itself, articulated on the front and back, the decorated armband, and the gilded eyes and amulet. The crown in particular is elaborate, with incised circles decorating its base, in addition to a protective winged falcon with a sun disk carved just above the base of the neck; the latter is a rare feature not commonly seen on these types of statuettes. Even with detailed representations like this one, because of the profusion of child gods and their many local forms, generally it is very difficult to assign precise identities, but an inscription on the base names this figure as Horus of Mednit.
Collection of Lily S. Place, Cairo. Donated by Lily Place to the museum, 1923.

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