Cult Stand with Animal Decoration

Cult stand with animal decoration
Egypt, (Abydos, temple of Kentiamentiu), Proto-Dynastic Era, 33002960 B.C.E.
Pottery, Height x diameter: 65.5 x 30.5 cm (25 13/16 x 12 in.)
Egypt Exploration Fund by subscription 1909, MFA #03.1959
Photos ©Joan Ann Lansberry, 2014

Giraffe detail....

"Temple furnishings from the earliest days of the Egyptian state, like this pottery stand, are extremely rare. The powerful ram with heavy, straight horns may represent an early ram god. The central part is decorated with a pattern of incised triangles, a motif found at this time in both southern Egypt and Nubia. large, triangular openings divide the lower part into four panels, two of which feature images of a giraffe standing beside a palm tree. The plant-with-animal theme may identify a particular estate or plantation, in which case the figures would be examples of early hieroglyphic writing." (From info card)

"The stand was excavated at the site of Abydoes, near the temple of the funerary god Khentiamentiu (a precursor of Osiris). The temple context suggests that it served in the presentation of offerings, perhaps in the cult of the unidentified ram deity represented at the top in raised relief.

"The powerful ram with heavy, straight horns is the most important element in the stand's decoration. Placed within a rectangular frame at the uppermost part of the stand, this figure was stamped out of a separate piece of clay and applied to the surface before firing." (From museum website)