Saturday, May 16, 2015 A
Sunlight on a Statue and More Research
8:10 am

When I saw the sunlight 'kissing' the ears on my statue of Set, I had to capture it!

My research into the imagery of Hathor is going splendid. Earlier we learned Pepi I of the Sixth Dynasty called himself "son of Hathor".

I've found earlier evidences of Hathor. Djedkare Isesi of the Fifth Dynasty has a scene in his mortuary complex in which he is receiving life from Hathor in the presence of Wadjet and Horus and Set:

Andrzej Ćwiek, in _Relief Decoration in the Royal Funerary Complexes of the Old Kingdom_

And we can't forget about Fourth Dynasty Menkaura, whose splendid statue I photographed last summer:

Menkaura with Hathor and Hare Nome Deity
From Giza, Valley Temple of Menkaure, 2490–2472 B.C.E.
Greywacke, W x H x D: 43.5 x 84.5 x 49 cm, (17 1/8 x 33 1/4 x 19 5/16 in.), Weight; 187.8 kg (414.02 lb.)
"More than half a dozen triads were discovered in the ruins of Menkaure's (Mycerinus') Valley Temple. They depict the king, the goddess Hathor (with sun disk and cow's horns), and a minor nome, or province, deity." "Size corresponds to hierarchical position in Egyptian art, and while visually Hathor and Menkaura appear to be the same height, the seated goddess is significantly larger in scale." (From info card and website)
Museum Expedition, MFA #09.200
Photo ©Joan Ann Lansberry, 2014

"Menkaura, beloved of Hathor, Mistress of the Sycamore"
From museum photo
Menkaure features in several similar triad statues. "It was first thought that there must have been about forty triads--one group for each Egyptian nome. Now it is supposed there were eight triads in all, symbolizing the principal sites where the goddess Hathor was worshipped." (Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids, (Metropolitan Museum of Art 1999), page 273)

I also got the idea to go poking in the Lepsius archives and found slightly earlier Fourth Dynasty evidence of Hathor mentions:

From the Giza graves, in the reign of Khafre
Second column: Hathor, Lady of the Sycamore, Lady of Dendera

Khafre's mortuary temple gives further evidence as it is "the best-preserved building of the Fourth Dynasty [and] is a square building with two entrances that bear the only inscriptions in the entire temple; all that can still be deciphered of them today are the words: "Khafre Beloved of [the goddess] Bastet" and "Khafre Beloved of [the goddess] Hathor". (David P. Silverman, _Ancient Egypt_, (Oxford University Press 1997, 2003 edition), page 185)

Andrzej Ćwiek, in _Relief Decoration in the Royal Funerary Complexes of the Old Kingdom_, gives pictorial evidence of this inscription

And there's even earlier evidence: "The presence of Hathor is suggested through the existence of priests and priestesses of Hathor, at least as early as Khufu's reign." "Textual evidence confirmed that Khufu's upper temple had five statue niches, four niches for the four names of Khufu, and one niche for a statue of Hathor. Each of these statues was served by a priest." (_Ancient Egyptian Kingship_, edited by David Bourke O'Connor, David P. Silverman, (Brill, Leiden, 1995) page 223)

Saturday, May 16, 2015 B
More Pepi and Hathor
7:40 pm

Bast and Hethert played strong roles in the Old Kingdom Ćwiek states "These two sky goddesses played most important role in the royal ideology of kingship and eschatology, being divine mothers of the pharaoh.1269"

In footnote 1267 he adds:
"In the scholarly analyses the primitive role of Hathor as a sky-goddess and female counterpart of the sun god has sometimes been much shadowed by her later features as a goddess of love, music etc. This led to underestimation of the evidence, clearly noticed e.g. in the translation of the Pyramid Texts by Faulkner who regularly renders ‘Mansion of Horus’ instead of ‘Hathor’ and ‘Lady of On’ instead of ‘Lady of Dendera’ (Pyr.§ 207; cf. his remarks in Pyramid Texts, p.51)."

Footnote 1269: "1269 Pyr.§ 1111: ‘My mother Bastet has nursed me...’; Pyr.§ 466: ‘are you the god, the eldest one, the son of Hathor?’. Pepy I stressed the filiation from Hathor (as well as from Atum) in a special manner in his titulary (e.g. a door-jamb from Tanis: Petrie, Tanis I, p.6, pl.I no.2; two blocks from Tell Basta: Naville, Bubastis, p.6, pl.XXXII)."

As I shared before:

Vase of Pepy I
Egyptian alabaster, traces of fruit
Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
Old Kingdom, VI Dynasty. ca. 2338-2298 B.C.E.
Dimensions: 2 1/8 x diam. 1 1/8 in. (5.4 x 2.8 cm)
Accession Number: 37.61E
Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, (adapted from museum website photo)

"Catalogue Description: Vase Bearing Title and Name of King Pepi I. Inscription: Vertically written, preceded by "nsw-bity" and followed by "djet ankh." "The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, (title in cartouche), the Son of Hathor, Lady of Dendera, Pepi, who liveth [for]ever."

And here are the Tanis and Bubastis pieces:

Hathor and Bast appeared "together on a lintel from the house of ka of Pepi I at Bubastis (fig.88).1270"

"1270 Habachi, Tell Basta, pp.8, 14-18, fig.2, pl.2; Fischer, Dendera, p.40, fig.8. The lintel is now in Cairo (JE 72133)." Texts from the Pyramid Age, edited by Ronald J. Leprohon, provides a translation:

Text of Pepy I from Tell Basta (ancient Bubastis)
A. Entrance Lintel with Scene of Pepy I Receiving an Ankh (Life) Sign from Bastet
Either side of winged sun-disc at top: He of Behdet, lord of Mesen.
Lion-headed goddess: Bastet. Giving all life.
King: The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, the son of Re, Pepy, the perfect god, given life.
Figure of goddess: Hathor, mistress of Iunet (Dendera).
Priest at right: To you have I given life and dominion. The Iunmutef priest ("pillar of his mother").
Above corpulent Nile god at left: (The personification of) Lower Egypt, master of provisions.
Either end of scene: Horus Merytawy, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Two Ladies Merykhet...
(_Texts from the Pyramid Age_, (Copyright 2005, Society of Biblical Literature (Brill Academic Publishers), page 92)

Go Back to Archives...
Go Back to Main Journal Index Page...
Go to Index of Joan's pages...

© Joan Ann Lansberry