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Ram-Headed Lotus Column (Amun)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This image of a ram’s head represents a god, perhaps Amun, king of the gods. He wears two divine symbols: a uraeus-snake perched at his forehead and a sun disk (now damaged). When an animal wears divine symbols in Egyptian art, it indicates that it is associated with a god, emphasizing the special quality they share—in this case, the potency of the ram.
MEDIUM Black granite, pigment
  • Possible Place Collected: Dendera, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 945–525 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 22 to Dynasty 26
    PERIOD Third Intermediate Period or Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 10 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 10 in., 26 lb. (26.7 x 18.4 x 25.4 cm, 11.79kg)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. George D. Pratt
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Ram-headed lotus column in black granite, a fragment from a large composition, probably of a priest or king holding this piece which was the sacred emblem of the great god Amen. The preserved portion contains the complete head of a ram bearing the uraeus with the long horns curved down front towards the chin. Behind and beneath the horns is the conventional wig; the head rests on a conventionalized lotus flower. On the top of the head are the remains of a ridge which connected the emblem with the hand or staff of the person depicted. The workmanship is good; traces of red paint remain in several places. Condition: Ends of horns broken off, the uraeus chipped and various minor chips on lotus column.
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