Saturday, May 28, 2016
Hathor at Bubastis
3:13pm

It's my habit, whenever I read there are six or seven of something, I want to track them all down. I did that with Khasekhemwy's jars, now I'm fascinated with Hathor's representations at Bubastis. I saw one of them at MFA:


Hathor Capitol
Egyptian, Dynasty 22, reign of Osorkon, 874712 B.C.E., from Bubastis, temple of Bastet
Granite, Overall: 178.8 x 137.5 x 108.2 cm (70 3/8 x 54 1/8 x 42 5/8 in.)
Egypt Exploration Fund 1889, MFA #89.555
Photo ©Joan Ann Lansberry, 2014

When I created its gallery page, I managed to track down four of these. The MFA website says of its piece, that it is "the best-preserved example out of five found at the site". Elsewhere, I saw a claim that there was six. Meanwhile, back to tracking the five.

I've found, besides the one at MFA, capitals at the British Museum, the Louvre and the Australian Nicholson museum. I'd thought briefly that there was a "new" one at the Cleveland museum:


But it is the one at the British Museum which travelled there for the Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt, which was photographed by Sarytsenuwi, 2016
EA1107 (Registration number 1891,1016.11)

I thought I might have found the fifth, via a tiny photo touregypt.net, but the more I stare at it, the more I think it's the British one that's either been augmented with a plaster bit, or it's all of the British piece, together, as the British webpage informs us it is "incomplete and split in two":


Look at the top damage, nose damage, etc.

So, back to the original four findings. Heidi Kontkanon recorded a badly damaged remnant at the Bubastis Open Air Museum, but poor thing, all that's recognisable is its eye and characteristic cow's ear.

Fortunately when the data from each of the four in museums with walls are combined, we can get a better idea of how the capitals looked when new. I created a trace, referencing several photos of them:


Arjunalistened's photo was most consulted as it is directly head on and has good detail.

The capital at the Nicholson museum might not have had a row of uraei, the break is a very clean one. But the other three show seven uraei from the front view and the Louvre example shows five uraei from the side view, along with a papyrus scepter at the center and two crowned uraei on each side of the scepter, such that these two show from the front view. I opted not to include these side uraei in my trace. It's uncertain if the capital at the Nicholson museum had them originally. The curving side lines probably represent the curved lines in the sistrum as in Nebnefer's block.

Nebnefer's cube is clearly from the 18th Dynasty, in the time of Amenhotep (Amenophis) III's reign (1390-1352 BCE), as it contains a rebus, "Beloved of Nebmaatre". Edouard Naville, who excavated the Bubastis columns in 1887-1888, thought these also did, even though today credit is given to Osorkon of Dynasty 22, reign of Osorkon, (874712 BCE). Osorkon, like so many before him, might have simply usurped them.

"Besides, it cannot be denied that the Hathor capital with two faces of the goddess is met with in temples of the eighteenth dynasty, at Deir el Bahari, where it dates probably from Hashepsu or Thothmes III., at El Kab and Sedeinga, where it dates from Amenophis III. In the last two instances there is another similarity with the Hathors of Bubastis, the two sides which have not the face of the goddess bear the emblematic plants of North and South. Under such circumstances it may well be asked whether the colonnade of Bubastis is not the work of the eighteenth dynasty, and of Amenophis III, whose name is preserved on several statues discovered in the excavations." (Edouard Naville, Bubastis: Eighth Memoir of The Egypt Exploration Fund, (London, Gilbert and Rivington 1891), page 13)

I'm inclined to agree with Naville. The mouths have that distinctive full Amenhotep look!


Second head at the Brooklyn museum, third head at Chicago's OIM

Sunday, May 29, 2016 A
Printable and Colorable Hathor
9:01am


No, I couldn't just leave this, I had to play with this. I hope to color this later...

Sunday, May 29, 2016 B
Colorful Hathor
9:01am


(Note of September 16, 2016: digitally altered to be more smiling and happy looking!


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