Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Schilbe fish, sacred to Hatmehyt, on standard

Period:
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Date:
664–30 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt
Medium:
Cupreous metal
Dimensions:
h. 5.7 cm (2 1/4) × l. 5.7 cm (2 1/4 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Joseph W. Drexel, 1889
Accession Number:
89.2.610
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
The schlibe fish was illustrated atop the standard of the nome of Mendes in the eastern Delta since earliest times. It was very closely associated with the local goddess Hatmehyt , whose name in fact means "Foremost of the Fishes" and who wore the schilbe atop her crown and hanging down her back (89.2.517).

Hatmehyt was the only Egyptian god(dess) associated so closely with a fish, and this certainly has to do with the importance of the swampy damp environment of the area.
Donated by Joseph W. Drexel, Philadelphia, 1889.

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