Bust of an Administrator of the Domain of Neith

Late Period, Saite

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 127

This small, exquisitely carved bust was once part of a kneeling or a standing statue of a man who held before him either a smaller figure of a deity or a shrine containing the divine image. Traces of the object are still visible at the lower edge of his chest. The sophisticated sensibility of the face with its slanted eyes and small smiling protruding mouth belongs to a period of about fifty years around 600 BC, when the recoalescence of styles developed in the northern and southern parts of the country achieved a harmonious balance.

The man's name, carved on the lower part of the back pillar, has been lost. The upper part gives his most important title, "Administrator of the Domains of Neith (goddess of Sais)," and the beginning of the curiously cryptic appeal to the "local god" that scholars call the Saite formula.

Bust of an Administrator of the Domain of Neith, Gray/green schist

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