Arc Sistrum

Ptolemaic Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134

This arc sistrum depicts the goddess with the curled wig, bound at intervals by ribbons. On both faces below the arc of the sistrum appears a uraeus, and again at either side of the goddess’s head are uraei wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. The collar and inscription were accented with dark blue coloring of which traces remain. The arc is pierced for three wires, although there is no wear indicating they were ever inserted.

The arc sistrum only appeared as of the 18th dynasty. The inscription on this one draws from hymn that seems to accompany sistrum-playing, known from several versions. The accumulation of epithets suggests the hymn originated with a Theban Isis (further associated with Coptos and Min), and was adapted for Hathor too.

Arc Sistrum, Faience

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