Neck from a vessel depicting the goddess Hathor flanked by felines

Period: Third Intermediate Period

Dynasty: Dynasty 21–22

Date: ca. 1070–712 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cache

Medium: Silver, gold

Dimensions: h. 8 cm (3 1/8 in); diam. 4.5 cm (1 3/4 in)

Credit Line: Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915

Accession Number: 30.8.370

Description

Though fragmentary, the decoration on this gold band from the neck of a mostly missing silver vessel suggests the vessel held intoxicating drink.

The Hathor heads point to the vessel's close association with Hathor, daughter of the sun-god Re, and the flanking animals, in this case lion cubs rather than the usual cats, are a reference to Sakhmet / Bastet. All these goddesses are associated with the tale of the Distant Goddess. The Distant Goddess myth subsumes that of the Destruction of Mankind - a tale of the rampaging goddess who was only halted by intoxication. Additionally, particular festivities associated with Eye of Re goddesses seem to encourage drunkenness as a way of transcendence and association with divinity.

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