Egyptian, Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, ca. 2575-2465 BCE
Granite, muzzle reconstructed, from Ihnasya el-Medina (Herakleopolis Magna)
Purchase, Anonymous Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, MMA 2000.485
(From info card)|
"This imposing lion once guarded the entrance to a pyramid-age sanctuary. As the most powerful predator of the steppes bordering the Nile Valley, the lion was a symbol of royalty from early on. The animal - especially the female - also embodied a number of deities. This work is the earliest extant example of a lifesized lion statue that is almost entirely preserved. It is excavated by the British Egypt Exploration Fund in 1891, at Herakleopolis Magna in the Nile Vally, southeast of the Faiyum oasis."
View of lion with pre-dynastic and early dynastic gallery in the background
Crop of photo for use on 1600x900 monitors as desktop photo is available
All photos © Joan Ann Lansberry, top two © 2009, bottom frontal view, © 2012