Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure of Ankhshepenwepet

Third Intermediate Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 126

This wooden statuette belongs to a tradition of upright mummiform statuettes on rectangular bases that dates back to the Middle Kingdom. It is meant to represent a divine being, or sah. Here the figure is shown wearing a crown of ram's horns topped by two ostrich plumes (the shuty crown), a blue tripartite wig, and a broad collar. A bead net is shown over the red wrappings. There is a back pillar, a feature that first appears on Osiride figures during this period. The statuette is pegged to a long base. The inscription on the front is a spell spoken by Osiris; on the back are words spoken by Ankhshepenwepet).

Such statuettes are understood by Egyptologists as aids for the re-birth of the deceased. The deity shown is Osiris (as indicated in this example by the inscription) or Osiris syncretized with the Memphite funerary gods Ptah and Sokar. These are thus known generally as a Ptah-Sokar-Osiris figures. This belongs to Martin Raven's Type III (Raven 1978), which developed during Dynasty 25. Rather than a hollow container to hold a funerary papyrus (as in earlier "Osiris" figures, see 25.3.35a, b), it is solid; the base attached to other examples of this type often held a papyrus or other artifact, such as a corn mummy (see 21.9.1a–c), but this example does not. Type III figures also commonly have green faces, correlating with a particular coffin type of the 25th-26th Dynasties; this does not, perhaps placing it early in the development of this new type.

Ptah-Sokar-Osiris Figure of Ankhshepenwepet, Wood, paint

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