Statue of the God Reshef

New Kingdom, Ramesside–Third Intermediate Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 124

The statue depicts a male figure holds a shield while raising a swordlike mace to strike. This menacing pose often characterizes Syro-Palestinian gods in Egyptian art, but the gazelle’s head adorning the white crown suggests it is Reshef. This is the only known stone statue of Reshef to date, who otherwise mostly appears on seals, scarabs, and stelae.

Egypt also saw the introduction of west-Semitic deities into its pantheon during the New Kingdom, when it sent armies into Syro-Palestinian and held garrisons there. Once Egypt’s presence in these areas, the prevalence of these gods in Egypt also subsided. Stylistically, this statue was probably produced later in New Kingdom or early in the first millennium B.C., suggesting Reshef was still of significance then.

Statue of the God Reshef, Limestone

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