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Crocodile Stela

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The Egyptians harnessed the powers of a ferocious animal to ward off danger. In marshy areas inhabited by crocodiles, people living nearby identified this animal with their town god. Here, the divine crocodile is on a shrine with an offering table in front of him.

This fragment of a stela (commemorative stone slab) originally illustrated a prayer invoking the crocodile god Sobek, who provided all that the deceased needed in the next world.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Possible Place Made: Dahamsha, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1295-1070 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 19 to Dynasty 20
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 9 3/4 x 6 x 2 7/8 in. (24.8 x 15.2 x 7.3 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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