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5863. Very fine ichneumon sarcophagus

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A very fine Egyptian bronze mongoose (ichneumon)

This rather charming bronze statue contained the
mummified remains of a mongoose within the hollow rectangular base open on
one side and was an amuletic device to protect against snakes.

The ichneumon (mongoose) was revered for its ability to
kill snakes and crush crocodile eggs. Together with the shrew-mouse, it was
regarded as the animal manifestation of the sun god Horus at Letopolis in the
Delta. The ichneumon also became a sacred animal of the lion-headed goddess
Wadjet as a result of religious developments of the Late Period. As an amulet
it was thought to give protection, probably against snakes. 

From the Late Period onwards many mongoose figurines were
cast in bronze, but it is often difficult to distinguish them from
representations of shrews.


Nice green patina with quite a lot of attractive red
cuprite in it.

60mm long 31mm high.

Egyptian Late Period, circa 500 BC

Price: 575 GBP

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