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Menat with the Heads of the Deities Shu and Tefnut
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Menat with the Heads of the Deities Shu and Tefnut


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description In rituals for the gods, special instruments were used by priests and priestesses to invoke the deities or to perform rituals before them. One of the most important instruments was the Menat, a counterweight that held elaborate beaded collars in place, used also as a noise-making ritual instrument by rattling the collar's beads. The representation of a broad collar called an Usekh (also called an Aegis, originally a Greek term for "shield") surmounted with the head of a deity functioned as a protective symbol.

This combination of the Menat and Usekh is surmounted by the heads of the divine couple Shu (god of the air) and Tefnut (goddess of moisture and corrosive air). They were the first emanations of the primeval god Atum, when he created the world. The Menat is flanked by cobra serpents; the upper part displays the squatting figure of the ram-headed sun god, while the lower part displays an oxyrhynchus fish in a papyrus thicket.

Conservation
Date Description Narrative
4/30/1957Treatmentcleaned
10/09/2006Treatmentcoated
Exhibitions
  • Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
Provenance Sheik of the Pyramids, Egypt [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1930, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1930

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Creator
Period
664-380 BC (Late Period)
Medium
bronze
(Metal)
Accession Number
54.1515
Measurements
H: 4 7/16 x W: 2 3/16 x D: 13/16 in. (11.2 x 5.5 x 2.1 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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