Frieze from the base of a statue

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A side piece of a wooden base for a figure or statue of a god, the latter probably of bronze. It is not common to find figures of deities which still retain their original bases, these normally made of wood or the same metal as the figure. This fragment, retaining three straight sides and a diagonal, probably formed one of the laterals of such a base. The right corner with a ramp shape would be part of the front of the base, where there would most probably have been a series of three or four steps imitating the bases of colossal statues in temples with their grand staircases. These were where the priests would enter to celebrate a ceremony of devotion to the god. On the left side of the piece there are two circular hollows where another piece would have been joined to this one.

The frieze has a symmetric decoration made up of five iconographic elements. To the right, and making use of the inclination, we find the engraving of a cobra and a winged uraeus, the representation of the goddess Wadjet. Below this we find the shen ring, a symbol of eternal protection, reinforcing the idea of protection suggested by the cobra. Following there is a set of six repetitions of the ankh symbol, the cross of life, carried by the gods in one hand with the was-sceptre in the other. These symbols lie above a line of hieroglyphs representing nb (neb), in a form resembling a shallow basket. These make reference to the words “master”, “king”, “each” and “everything”. The union of all these elements leaves us without any doubt that we are dealing here with a base for a sculpture of an Egyptian god.

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