Queen as Isis nursing, Dyn. 25

Queen as Isis nursing, Dyn. 25
Period:Egypt, 3rd Intermediate Period, Dynasty 25 and Contemporaries
Dating:747 BC–654 BC
Origin:Egypt, Upper Egypt
Physical:16.2cm. (6.3 in.) - 630 g. (22.2 oz.)

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Links to others from Dynasty 25 and Contemporaries

Amulet of Duamutef, Dyn. 25
Amulet of Imsety, Dyn. 25
Bronze Imhotep seated, Dyn. 25 (?)
Bronze Nefertem pendant amulet, Dyn. 25
Bronze of a queen nursing, Dyn. 25
Bronze of King Shabaka ? as Osiris, Dyn. 25
Bronze of Ptah, Memphis, Dyn. 25
Bronze ritual pendant of Osiris, Dyn. 25
Bronze ritual pendant of Osiris, Dyn. 25
Bronze statuette of Ptah, Dyn. 25
Faience amulet of Qebhsenuef, Dyn. 25
Five Udjat eyes amulet, Dyn. 25
Horus-the-Child as Amun, 776-656 BC
Horus-the-Child, Dyn. 25, 776-656 BC
Mentuemhet, prince of Thebes, Dyn. 25
Osiris-Neper, god of agriculture, Dyn. 25
Queen Aqaluqa as Isis nursing, Dyn. 25
Queen as Goddess Neith seated, Dyn. 25106

Scarab of Piankhi, Dyn. 25
Twenty-eight udjat eyes amulet, Dyn. 25
Udjat eye amulet-pendant, Dyn. 25
Udjat eye amulet-pendant, Dyn. 25

Links to others representing Isis

Isis trapping for Baket, Dyn. 23
Isis trapping for Baket, Dyn. 23
Queen Aqaluqa as Isis nursing, Dyn. 25
Queen Isis as Isis nursing Thutmose III
Queen Isitnefret as Isis nursing, Dyn. 19

Links to others of type Statuette-woman

Bronze female dancer, Rome, 200-27 BC
Bronze goddess Neith, Ptolemaic Period
Bronze of a queen nursing, Dyn. 25
Bronze of Ceres, Rome, 200 BC-307 AD
Bronze of Goddess Nebethetepet, Dyn. 12
Bronze of Mut, Ptolemaic Period
Bronze Venus, Alexandria, 50 BC-50 AD
Etruscan young woman, 570-550 BC
Gilded statue of a queen, Early Dynastic
Hathor as a woman, cow headed, N.K.
Protodynastic female statuette, Dyn. 0
Queen Aqaluqa as Isis nursing, Dyn. 25
Queen as Goddess Mut, Dyn.18
Queen as Isis nursing, Dyn. 12
Queen as Isis-Hathor nursing, Dyn. 21
Queen Hatshepsut as Goddess Mut, Dyn. 18
Queen Hatshepsut as Hathor, Dyn. 18
Queen Isis as Isis nursing Thutmose III
Queen Isitnefret as Isis nursing, Dyn. 19
Queen Karama as Goddess Neith, Dyn. 22
Terracotta young woman, Greece, 450 BC
Victory and Athena, terracotta, Greece
Woman and girl, Tanagra, 340-300 BC
Woman with elaborate headdress, Crete
  This lovely serpentinite stone statuette represents an unidentified queen as Goddess Isis nursing Horus the Child. Although it is very similar to item 00834 from this collection, the styles and physical types are distinct. This queen’s thick neck, full cheeks, lips and nose, and her small ears are typical of the Nubian Egyptian Dynasty 25 (c. 747 BC), some 1,200 years after the other statuette.

Dynasty 25
The kings of Dynasty 25 (747-656 BC) were not from Egypt, but from the land of Kush, south of Egypt (in today’s northern Sudan). Previously invaded, colonized, exploited, and forcefully ‘Egyptianized’ most recently during the New Kingdom, the Kushites had unexpectedly retained their Egyptianized ways in the five hundred years since the Egyptian state had pulled out of Kush. Their leader Piankhy (Piyi) still worshipped Egyptian gods, wrote official texts in classical hieroglyphs, and intended to be buried under a pyramid. Indeed, at a time when Lower Egypt was populated by a majority of ethnic Lybians who did not necessarily revere the Egyptian cultural heritage as their own, and when the strong pharaohs of the past had been replaced by a “federation of semi-autonomous rulers” (Shaw 2000:345), Piankhy felt more genuinely Egyptian than any king of Egypt. In fact, Kushite kings “did not see themselves as foreigners, although they had different ethnic, cultural and linguistic roots. In their view and faith, Kush and Egypt were the two halves of the ancient kingdom of Amun, which were once united in a distant mythical past” (Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris 1997:166, 170).

And so, when King Tefnakht of Sais in the Delta showed expansionist ambitions, Piankhy’s religious fervor led him to descend upon Egypt with his powerful army in a crusade to unite the nation under an ‘ideologically Egyptian’ king—himself. In southern Egypt, he diplomatically established his influence by convincing the Thebans to adopt his sister Amenirdis as the Divine Adoratrice of Amun—a position with considerable political power. In northern Egypt, his military supremacy brought compliance. But instead of annihilating the (mostly Lybian) kings, princes and chieftains of the Delta, he was satisfied with receiving their pledge of allegiance.

By the strength of their conviction and their deft and consistent application of symbolically charged gestures, Kushite kings awoke in their people a sense of national identity, gave a new impetus and a clear purpose to a land slowly drifting away into irrelevance. Although the idea of drawing strength from Egypt’s great past predates their intervention—“it had its origin in the later Lybian period, having begun during the first half of the eight century BC” (Shaw 2000:356)—the Kushites lent an energy, and a dedication to the cause that is almost palpable. Dynasty 25 high art blends the physical strength of Kushite body types with the classical model of Old Kingdom portraiture, adding a few details that demonstrate that Dynasty 25 Egypt was not just a relic of the past, but a nation moving forward, building confidently and proudly on its glorious heritage.

Although in artistic and cultural matters, the Kushite kings insisted on a return to Old Kingdom order, in politics they were unwilling to commit the resources necessary to return to an absolute centralized royal authority. But perpetuating the decentralized model of the previous hundred years meant they had to intervene sporadically to curtail the ambitions of their vassals. More importantly, the relative independence of local rulers in the delta eventually drew them to meddle in rebellions against the Assyrian dominance of Palestine. Provoking the Assyrian empire at the height of its power proved fatal to the Kushite Dynasty. In 667 BC, Assyria invaded Egypt and the Kushites pulled back to the land of Kush. Within three years, all hope was lost for Dynasty 25.

Bibliography (for this item)

Khalil, Hassan M.
1976 Preliminary Studies on the Sanusret Collection. Manuscript, Musée l’Egypte et le Monde Antique, Monaco-Ville, Monaco.

Bibliography (on Dynasty 25)

Institut du monde Arabe, Paris, , and Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich
1997 SOUDAN. Royaumes sur le Nil (Exhibition in Munich, Paris, Amsterdam, Toulouse, Mannheim.). Flammarion, Paris.

Shaw, Ian
2000 The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press, Oxford, United Kingdom.

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