Two Hippos
Painted Faience
Middle Kingdom-Second Intermediate Period, ca. 1938-1539 B.C.E.
Provenance not known
Top hippo: Brooklyn #L48.7.19, Collection of Robin B. Martin, 4 1/4 x 6 9/16 in. (10.8 x 16.7 cm)
Lower hippo: Brooklyn #70.93.2, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 3 9/16 x 2 3/4 x 4 15/16 in. (9 x 7 x 12.5 cm)
Faience, 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 2 13/16 in. (4.2 x 4.1 x 7.1 cm)
Middle Kingdom, Dynasty: XII Dynasty-early XIII Dynasty, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E.
From Deir el Nawahid, southeast of Abydos
65.2.1, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

Hedgehog Rattle
Painted Faience, 1 x 2 5/8 x 1 3/8 in. (2.5 x 6.7 x 3.5 cm)
Middle Kingdom, XII Dynasty-early XIII Dynasty, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E.
Provenance not known
Brooklyn #59.186, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund

(From the info cards)
"When food is scarce, hedgehogs retreat into underground dens for long periods, only to re-emerge in times of abundance. The Egyptians associated this behavior with rebirth and thus wore amulets in the form of hedgehogs or left figures such as this one in tombs. Also, according to the Ebers Medical Papyrus of the early Eighteenth Dynasty, hedgehog spines, when ground up and mixed with fat or oil, cured baldness."

"The hollow body of this hedgehog figure contains tiny pellets that rattled when it was shaken. The ancient Egyptians used rattles to ward off harmful forces such as snakes, scorpions, or malevolent spirits. When attacked, a hedgehog rolls into a ball, exposing a mass of pointed spines to the predator. To the Egyptians, this behavioróimitated in this figureómade the hedgehog an ideal protective symbol."

Photos © Joan Ann Lansberry, May 2008