About this artwork
Here the crocodile god Sobek, associated with water and the Nile River, wears an elaborate crown adorned with horns, feathers, and a uraeus (sacred serpent). Egyptian gods were commonly depicted with human bodies and animal heads. The animal referred to the god’s personality or characteristics, not his or her appearance. For example, the crocodile head of Sobek alludes to his fierceness. The Greeks and Romans took these mixed forms literally rather than symbolically, and some Classical authors, accustomed to gods in human form, derided the Egyptians for their “ridiculous” gods, dismissing them as “dog-faced Egyptians, dressed up in linen.” Statuettes like these were offered to the gods to ask for their help or in thanks for their assistance.
- Ancient Egyptian
- Statuette of Sobek
- 664 AD–332 AD
- Copper alloy
- 16.7 × 4.5 × 5 cm (6 5/8 × 1 7/8 × 2 in.)
- Gift of Henry H. Getty, Charles L. Hutchinson, and Robert H. Fleming