Moulded faience vase in the form of the goddess Taweret

Moulded faience vase in the form of the goddess Taweret
Moulded faience vase in the form of the goddess Taweret

Taweret was an ancient Egyptian patroness of childbirth and a protector of women and children. Like Bes, she was considered to be a ferocious demon as well as a protective and nurturing deity. She was associated with the lion, the crocodile, and the hippo; all animals that were feared by the Egyptians but also highly respected.

Initially, she was viewed as a dangerous and potentially malignant force. Taweret was associated with the northern sky as Nebetakhet, the “Mistress of the Horizon”. She represented the circumpolar stars of Ursa Minor and Draco (the little dipper formed her back) who guarded the northern sky. The northern sky was thought to be cold, dark and potentially dangerous and was associated with both Apep and Seth. According to one ancient myth, her husband Apep could only come out during the night and so she represented all that was evil during the day.

Third Intermediate Period, 25th Dynasty, ca. 747-656 BC. Now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. AN1913.789

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