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Figure of Thoth-Iah (Moon God)
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Figure of Thoth-Iah (Moon God)

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description As early as the Old Kingdom, the ibis-headed Thoth appeared in the Pyramid Texts (ca. 2330 BC) as god of the moon along with Iah and Khonsu. The god of wisdom, writing, and administration, Thoth embodied the moon's dynamic nature; his knowledge extended to the science of numbers, medicine, and all magical secrets. This figure combines iconographical elements which refer to several deities. The human-shaped body with long wig and uraeus above the forehead, together with a moon-disk and crescent, represents the moon god Iah. The ibis head refers to Thoth, the Atef-crown with the feathers stands for the god of the netherworld, Osiris, and the ram horns represent Amun. Because the disk can be interpreted as moon or sun-disk, it is likely that in combination with the ram horns the solar aspect of Amun, or Amun-Re, is intended. All of these different elements express the idea of the renewal of moon and sun, and therefore also of the donor of such a figure in his afterlife.
Date Description Narrative
12/31/1969Examinationcleaned; examined for exhibition
  • Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
Provenance Dikran Kelekian, New York and Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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664-342 BC (Late Period)
Accession Number
H: 5 1/16 x W: 1 x D: 1 9/16 in. (12.8 x 2.6 x 3.9 cm); H with base: 5 13/16 x W: 1 x D: 1 15/16 in. (14.8 x 2.6 x 5 cm)
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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