Figure of Nefertem - ROM2011_11750_32


Figure of Nefertem

Medium:Glazed composition (faience)
Geography: Excavated at Meroe, Sudan (ancient Nubia)
Date: c. 300 BC-350 AD
Period: Meroitic Period
7.2 x 2.6 x 1 cm
Object number: 921.4.57
Credit Line: Gift of Sir Robert Mond (University of Liverpool Excavations Committee for the Garstang Excavations at Meroe, Sudan, 1909-1913)
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Nubia

This large, rare faience figure is somewhat ambigous. His body is that of a striding man, but his face, either from design or from poor craftsmanship, appears quite leonine, with a large nose, bulging eyes, and what appear to be feline ears.

His very short kilt is sometimes associated with a lion-god, Maahes, who was popular in Merotic culture, though the figure might equally be identified as Nefertem, god of beautiful scents, who has a lion avatar.  The figure carries no identifying attributes, and his headdress or crown has been broken off.

Nefertem and Maahes were both protective deities, with Nefertem having a greater role in the Afterliffe.  The closest parallel image stands on a striding lion, and wears the crown of Nefertem. 

Object History: Excavated by Dr. John Garstang, 1909-1910
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