Mummiform statuette of Khonsu - ROM2016_15146_32


Mummiform statuette of Khonsu

Medium:Bronze, cast, incised and inlaid
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
15.3 x 4.2 cm
Object number: 910.17.9
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Khonsu was a god of the moon, the child of the Theban deities Amun and Mut.  The Egyptian name for the moon was Yah, or Iah; his name, Khonsu, means ‘the traveller.’

Khonsu could be manifest either as a hawk-headed man, Khonsu-Neferhotep, or as a child.  In either form he bears both the full and crescent moon on his head. In this votive statue from the Late Period, he wears the side-lock of youth. Though his wrapped body appears mummified and dead, the wrapping conceals his true form and proclaims his limitless potential.  In his hands he holds the crook and flail of kingship as well as a long sceptre with three heads which symbolize power, stability and life.  He wears a heavy necklace and counterpoise called the menat.

Khonsu was a very popular god in Thebes, and in the south of Egypt and Nubia. He guarded those who had to travel at night, and his protection included healing. Though mentioned in the Pyramid Texts, he became popular in the New Kingdom, particularly during the Ramesside period, and remained a beloved deity well into Ptolemaic times.

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