Neck from a vessel depicting the goddess Hathor flanked by felines, Silver, gold

Neck from a vessel depicting the goddess Hathor flanked by felines

Period:
New Kingdom, Ramesside
Dynasty:
Dynasty 19
Reign:
Ramesses II or slightly later
Date:
ca. 1279–1213 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cache
Medium:
Silver, gold
Dimensions:
H. 8 × Diam. 5.4 cm (3 1/8 × 2 1/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915
Accession Number:
30.8.370
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 124
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.

Hayes, William C. 1959. Scepter of Egypt II: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Hyksos Period and the New Kingdom (1675-1080 B.C.). Cambridge, Mass.: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 359, fig. 225.

Lilyquist, Christine 2012. "Treasures from Tell Basta: Goddesses, Officials, and Artists in an International Age." In Metropolitan Museum Journal, 47, p. 49, no. 33; p. 33, fig. 49; p. 12, fig. 3, p. 33, fig. 49; p. 59, fig. 83.