Gold statue of the god Amun

Solid gold statuette of the god Amun.

This is a solid gold statue of the god Amun (imn) and is truly one of a kind. As a pure gold figure of the god, this figure is an example of those golden figures of gods and goddesses that would have been the centrepiece of prayers and rituals within the temples throughout the age of Ancient Egypt.

Statuettes such as this, would be the physical representation of the god that only the priests and the kings would be able to adorn. However, despite this, it is not exactly certified what this figure may have been used for, or if it was the main figure of Amun that would be adorned in ritual, “There are traces of a tripartite loop on the top of Amun’s cap, which indicates that he could be suspended and, as such, perhaps was worn by a temple celebrant or by a statue of a deity.” (Met Museum, Statuette of Amun, 26.7.1412)

Gold statue of the god Amun.
Gold statue of the god Amun.

Most may be surprised to realise that such figures of the gods that were kept private and cared for by the priesthood daily, were not in fact colossal figures towering over the mortals, but instead were pretty much Barbie sized figures made of solid gold that were treated delicately and adorned throughout the day.

Every day, the priests of the temple would take care of the golden god. The deity would be bathed, nourished with food and drink, smothered with incense, oils and perfumes, and even entertained. In its time, this statuette of Amun would even have been dressed daily and taken care of as if he were the god Amun himself.

Standing at just under 20cm tall (17.5cm), this figure of Amun shows the god wearing a kilt (shendyt), false beard, and a flat top crown (similar to the Greek, “odius“). Usually the flat top crown would be adorned with the Sun Disc and Double Plumed feathers, however neither is longer present on this figure.

Amun holds an Ankh (symbol of life) in his left hand, and across his chest in his right hand he holds a scimitar or sickle.

It is believed this statue came from Karnak, which would make sense as Amun’s main cult and sanctuary was located within the Karnak Temple Complex (modern day Luxor Temple).

Made somewhere between 945–712 B.C., this figure dates from the Third Intermediate Period, and currently is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. 26.7.1412