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Statue of Horus

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Statue of Horus

Artist: Unknown Egyptian Artist Primary
Date: 760-30 BCE
8th century - 1st century BCE
Dimensions: 3.94 x 1 x 1.44 in. (10 x 2.54 x 3.65 cm)
Object Type: Ritual Object
Creation Place: Middle East, Egypt
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Lent by the Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of David Dows, Ph.B. 1908 (1945.170)
Accession Number: L2020.05.10
On View: Bellarmine Hall Galleries

This statue depicts Horus, the ancient Egyptian god of kingship, as a young child. This iteration of the god became especially popular in the later periods of ancient Egyptian history, as the child Horus began to be associated with healing and protection from venomous animals.


Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis, who, after the death of his father through the hands of his uncle Seth, went to avenge his father’s death. He claimed his right to the throne of Egypt through a series of council meetings with the gods and goddesses,
and various duels with Seth. The pharaoh and Horus were intimately linked through the belief that the current pharaoh was the human reincarnation of Horus. This widespread belief allowed thekings to further legitimize their rule and exert their authority over their people.

This piece was made in Egypt's Third Intermediate Period. Even though there were a series of foreign rulers during this period, they used the traditional Egyptian royal ideology and iconography. The Libyan pharaohs in particular, who first rose to power in the 22nd Dynasty, showed themselves as traditional Egyptian king to legitimize their rule by frequently portraying themselves as depictions of the god Horus as a child. During this time, there was a lot of focus on religious imagery, specially temples and shrines were filled with small statues of gods, distinctly made of metal, where religious offerings could be made.

Martha Maree Quiblat '22


Horus is shown wearing a crown, which has a piece missing at the very top, most likely broken off due to damage. At the front center of his crown is the Uraeus cobra, which is a cobra used to symbolize his divine authority as a king. Horus is shown unclothed and is wearing a side ponytail that is braided on the right side of his head, a hairstyle which was traditionally worn by children in Ancient Egypt.He is shown standing upright, with his left foot adjusted slightly forward, demonstrating that he is mid-action. While Horus is often depicted as a falcon or a man with the head of a falcon, he was sometimes depicted as a child. This references his childhood following the murder of his father Osiris, a key part of the myth of Horus and Seth. This mythology played a major
role in the divine authority extended by pharaohs and their dedication to both Osiris and Horus to whom they owed devotion to in hopes of a substantial afterlife.

Brianna Perez '22


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