Saturday, January 2, 2016
Ptolemy I and Hathor - Tracing

I've been sprucing up the website, slowly improving it. This includes some of my photos from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. Doing so, I re-examined the ones of relevance to Hathor. This museum has a relief featuring Ptolemy I with Hathor, which I photographed:

Relief of Ptolemy I offering to Hathor
Ptolemaic Period, reign of Ptolemy I, 305282 B.C.E.
From Kom Abu Billo (Terenuthis)
Limestone, H x W: 36 x 128 x 18cm (14 3/16 x 50 3/8 x 7 1/16in.)
Egypt Exploration Fund 1889, MFA #89.559
Other views at this link...

"Ptolemy I built a temple to the goddess Hathor at Kom Abu Billo (Tarrana), in the western Nile Delta. When the site was discovered in 1887, the temple had vanished, but a few decorated blocks still survived, re-used in the buildings of a nearby village. Carved in exquisite low relief, they rank among the finest examples of early Ptolemaic art. Here, with a graceful gesture, the king offers the goddess a bowl of flaming incense." (From info card)
"The founder of the Ptolemaic Dynasty is shown offering incense to the goddess in a small brazier complete with two incense pellets and a wisp of smoke. Hathor holds a wand in the shape of a papyrus stalk. The word for papyrus also meant 'green', which was therefore written with a hieroglyph representing a papyrus plant." (From museum website)

The British museum has one of the blocks from this temple at Kom Ombo Billo. There are many similarities between the two scenes. Ptolemy I wears a bag wig in both, and Hathor has her papyrus scepter in each. But there are also differences. In the British Museum panel, the beginning of Hathor's horns are clearly visible. Ptolemy offers unusually stylized representations of the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt. The British Museum's panel is also much less damaged, and thereby easily amenable to tracing.

I assembled a composite of various museum photos, and using it and other photos created a trace of it:
Using the above template, I created a tracing...
Doing so, I discovered the artist gave Ptolemy six fingers on his left hand.

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