Figure of Thoth in the form of a baboon - ROM2016_15161_38


Figure of Thoth in the form of a baboon

Medium:Limestone, carved
Geography: Excavated at Saqqara, Egypt
Date: c. 380-343 BC
Period: 30th Dynasty, Late Period
16.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 cm
Object number: 972.51.1
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

The cynocephalus baboon is one of the forms of the god Thoth, the moon god, patron of the arts, speech, hieroglyphic writing and scribes.This small limestone statuette, slightly damaged at the base, is a fine example of a Late Period (664-332 BC) votive that would have been placed in a temple by a patron. It was found at Saqqara, not far from Cairo, in excavations carried out by the Egypt Exploration Society in 1971.

The Royal Ontario Museum’s relationship with the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) is a long one, and pivotal to the Museum’s establishment. In 1902, Charles T. Currelly, founder of the ROM, was in London conducting research at The British Museum. There he met William Matthew Flinders Petrie, considered the father of Egyptian archaeology. As a result of the meeting, Currelly became a member of the staff of the EES which was conducting excavations at Abydos in Upper Egypt. Dr. Nathaniel Burwash, chancellor of Toronto's Victoria University, urged Currelly to also collect artifacts for a future museum in Toronto. The Society supported the idea, pledging to give some of its finds to the new museum in return for Currelly's work with them. Currelly worked with the EES at several sites until 1910, collecting hundreds of artifacts. The ROM continued to support the Society until 1976, in exchange for archaeological material that they excavated in Egypt.

Object History: Excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society, 1971
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