Statuette of goddess Neith - ROM2016_15146_36


Statuette of goddess Neith

Medium:Bronze, solid cast
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
24 x 10.5 x 7.2 cm
Object number: 910.17.26
Not on view

This fine bronze image of the goddess Neith was cast using the lost wax process.  The craftsman first fashioned a detailed wax model of Neith which he then covered with soft clay. When heated, the clay hardened and the wax ran out one end, resulting in a detailed negative impression within.  Molten bronze was then poured into the wax mould.  After cooling, the clay was broken away to remove the bronze statue.  Since it was made in a single mould, there are no casting seams along the sides.

Neith is one of the oldest recognized Egyptian goddesses.  She was associated at least since the First Dynasty with the Delta site of Sais. (The ancient name of this site was Djau, and the modern name is Sa el Hagar.)  In this figure, the goddess wears the crown of Lower Egypt.

Neith was a war goddess identified by crossed arrows and bow, but she also a goddess of weaving associated with mummification and with childbirth. In some myths, she was the mother of Re, and Creatrix of the World.  One of her main sites of worship was modern Esna. Because of her associations with warfare, archery and weaving, the Greeks identified her with the Olympian goddess Athena.  Her left hand retains a fragment of her sceptre of power.

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