Harpokrates in a double crown
Late Period–Ptolemaic Period
Not on view
The figure represents a child god in a seated/reclining position, wearing the double crown, which alludes to his royal status. The child god is distinguished from adult gods by a range of iconographic clues: his nudity, the finger raised to the mouth (a child-like gesture), and the sidelock on the right side of his head.
Child gods grew in popularity and cult from the Third Intermediate Period onwards, rivaling even the most powerful and ancient gods, especially as temple offerings. Without an inscription, it can be very difficult to securely distinguish and identify particular child gods, but here the double crown identifies the god as Harpokrates (Horus the Child), who was the son of Osiris and Isis. The empty socket at the front of his crown indicates where the red crown’s front spiral originally attached. This royal crown symbolizes the union of Lower and Upper Egypt, and highlights Horus’ role as the legitimate ruler of the entire land and his direct association with the king.
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