Boat Stand of Atlanersa

Boat Stand of King Atlanersa
Nubia (Sudan), Gebel Barkal, temple of Atlanersa and Senkamanisken), Napatan Period, reign of Atlanersa, 653–643 B.C.E.
Granite gneiss; Height x length x width, weight: 115 x 152.5 x 152.5 cm, 8164.75 kg (45 1/4 x 60 1/16 x 60 1/16 in., 18000.01 lb.)
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition 1923, MFA #23.728
All photos ©Joan Ann Lansberry, 2014

"During religious festivals in ancient Egypt and Nubia, images of the gods were carried from the temple in shrines set aboard processional boats mounted on long poles and carried on the shoulders of priests. Between the festivals, the boats rested on stands like this one, which was found in its original position in the temple of Amun at Gebel Barkal in Sudan. The front and back of the stand show King Atlanersa supporting the hieroglyphic sign for the sky, symbolizing the heavens through which the sun god's boat was believed to sail.

"On the front, two gods tie together the papyrus and lily plants that represnt the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. Two goddesses flank Atlanersa on the back." (From info card.)

"On the sides, Atlanersa and the hawk and jackal headed demi gods of the ancient towns of Pe and Nekhen kneels and beat their chests in accompaniment to the song of a goddess who stands before them with upraised arms. Below them, the papyrus and lily plants are bound together by a pair of fertility figures.(From info card.)


Detail of Thoth