Egyptian Antiquities :
Masterpieces of Egyptian Art : Sculpture of the God Amun in the Form of a Ram
Sculpture of the God Amun in the Form of a Ram - Z.0038
Origin: Sinai, Egypt
2.5" (6.4cm) high
x .75" (1.9cm) wide
Location: Great Britain
| Photo Gallery
This bronze statuette represents a ram gingerly
striding forward on integral rectangular base. The
ram is modeled with restraint with sculptural
emphasis placed on the stylized musculature of its
body rather than an articulation of its fleece.
Nevertheless, certain details such as its hooves, tail,
horns, and muzzle are more naturally rendered and
imbue the figure with a sobriety consistent with its
depiction as a manifestation of the state god, Amun.
That identification is confirmed by the sun disc
fronted by a serpent uraeus, which serves as the
ram’s headdress and sole insignia.
The cult of the state god Amun rose to prominence
during the course of the Egyptian New Kingdom in
the late second millennium BCE and continued to
maintain its pre-eminent role into the Late Period.
So, for example, the Kushite pharaohs of Dynasty
XXV linked the Egyptian god Amun of Thebes with
their own local deity of Napata worshipped deep in
Nubia at Gebel Barkal. Later, in the fourth century
BCE, Alexander the Great, in an effort to promote
his divine claim, often chose to be depicted with the
ram’s horns of Amun as his personal emblem. Our
ram can, therefore, be dated to this late resurgence
of the cult of Amun. And while, admittedly, there
are few known parallels for our particular depiction,
its style is consistent with that known for the
depiction of other animals, such as the mongoose.