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Usekh with the Head of a Goddess
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Usekh with the Head of a Goddess


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description The Egyptians used a variety of special objects to perform the rituals for the gods. The image of a special collar, called an "usekh," surmounted by the head of a god or goddess was such an object (also called an "aegis," originally a Greek term for "shield"). It was used to invoke the gods to guarantee protection, and was also used as an ornament on the bow and stern of a sacred ship.

This bronze "usekh" is combined with the head of a goddess, which is crowned by a "calathos" with "uraei" (cobra serpents), cow horns, and a sun-disk. This crown was originally related to Hathor, but later was also used for Isis. The collar itself displays floral ornaments and has two falcon-head terminals. This heavy bronze "usekh" was probably attached to the bow of a wooden sacred boat.

Conservation
Date Description Narrative
4/30/1957Treatmentcleaned
Exhibitions
  • Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
  • Egypt’s Mysterious Book of the Faiyum. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013-2014.
Provenance Sheik Ismail [Sakkara] [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1931, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1931

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Creator
Period
ca. 380-343 BCE (Late Period, 30th dynasty)
Medium
bronze with gold and silver inlay
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.2137
Measurements
H: 9 5/16 x W: 6 7/8 x D: 2 5/16 in. (23.6 x 17.4 x 5.9 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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