A child god, probably Harpokrates, Leaded bronze, formerly gilded

A child god, probably Harpokrates

Ptolemaic Period
1st century B.C. or earlier
From Egypt, Memphite Region, North Saqqara, Sacred Animal Necropolis, Falcon Catacomb Gallery 6, niche 6a, EES excavations 1969-71
Leaded bronze, formerly gilded
h. 16 cm (6 5/16 in); w. 5.6 cm (2 3/16 in); d. 2.4 cm (15/16 in)
Credit Line:
The Adelaide Milton de Groot Fund, in memory of the de Groot and Hawley families, 1976
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
This small statuette of a child god was found in the catacombs of the Falcon Complex in the Sacred Animal Necropolis at North Saqqara, where offerings made in the shrine were buried after an undetermined period. Inscribed material suggests this branch of the catacombs was sealed in about 89 B.C., dating the statuette to that time or earlier.
Although child gods are difficult to distinguish from one another in the absence of an inscription or highly specific iconography, the falcon spread across the back of this figure's headcloth tends to support his identification with Horus-the-Child, that is, Harpokrates, as indeed does the particular deposit context at Saqqara, since falcon was the sacred animal of Horus.
Excavated North Saqqara, Egypt by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1969-1971. Acquired by the EES in the division of finds. Given by the EES to the Museum for its contribution to the excavations.

Davies, Sue and Harry S. Smith 2005. The Sacred Animal Necropolis at North Saqqara: The Falcon Complex and Catacomb, The Archaeological Report, Egypt Exploration Society Excavation Memoir, 73. London: Egypt Exploration Society, pp. 124-5; figs. 64c, 65a.

Hill, Marsha 2007. "Casting About: The Late Period (664–332 B.C.) and the Macedonian-Ptolemaic Period (332–30 B.C.)." In Gifts for the Gods: Images from Egyptian Temples, edited by Marsha Hill and Deborah Schorsch. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 126, no. 58.