Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Two cats surmounting a box for an animal mummy

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
H. 9.4 cm (3 11/16 in.); W. 8.7 cm (3 7/16 in.); D. 6.8 cm (2 11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Darius Ogden Mills, 1904
Accession Number:
04.2.601
Not on view
Bastet was a powerful goddess of Lower Egypt, one who was protective and could bring about great prosperity. In zoomorphic form, she was represented as a cat and cats were considered sacred to her. As a cat, she is poised and alert, on guard against external forces. Here two cats surmount a square box that would have once held an animal mummy. Such mummy boxes were deposited in catacombs alongside linen-wrapped cat mummies, as at the extensive catacombs at Bubastis and Saqqara.
Collection of Judge Elbert E. Farman, formed when he was U.S. consul general in Egypt 1876–84. Donated to the museum by Darius Ogden Mills, New York, in 1904.

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