Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
664–30 B.C.
From Egypt
Hematite? basalt?
H. 4.1 cm (1 5/8 in.); W. 1.5 cm (9/16 in.); D. 1.7 cm (11/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Miller Gould, 1910
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 134
The goddess Taweret has the body of a standing pregnant hippopotamus, the limbs and paws of a lion, and the tail of a crocodile down her back, characteristics fitting her fierce protectiveness in the aid of the vulnerable.

The stone of this example is quite possibly hematite which was popular for certain amulets including Taweret in the late periods. Because the stone is quite hard, the forms are very simplified - the crocodile tail is only indicated by seams at the sides along the length of her figure below her wig, her crown base (modius) is reduced to a kind of domed cap, and her paws are paraticularly undefined. A hole pierces the statuette from side to side behind her head.
Formerly in the collection of the Reverend Chauncey Murch (died 1907). Collected between 1883 and 1906 while Murch was a missionary in Egypt. Collection purchased by the Museum from the Murch family with funds provided by Helen Miller Gould, 1910.

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