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

Neck from a vessel depicting the goddess Hathor flanked by felines

New Kingdom, Ramesside
Dynasty 19
Ramesses II or slightly later
ca. 1279–1213 B.C.
From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cache
Silver, gold
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:
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.