Sat. Dec 4th, 2021
Plaque of a Woman Giving Birth

This plaque depicts a woman on the birthing-chair, being assisted by two women with Hathor heads and crowns; the Hathor crown consists of two horns with the sun disk between them and tall plumes. The figures of the women are rendered in frontal view, and are nearly three-dimensional. They are carved in sunken-relief, which was characteristic of the Ptolemaic Period. The stone was placed as an ex-voto, most probably by a pious person, at the temple of Hathor in Dendera, to thank the goddess for helping in a confinement.

Hathor was worshiped at her main cult center at Dendera and in other places in Egypt. She was later identified with the Greek goddess Aphrodite. She acted as nurse and was the patroness of a pregnant woman in the confinement chamber. In the Tale of the Doomed Prince, seven Hathor nurses were mentioned in the context of protecting the newly born prince.

Ptolemaic Period, ca. 305-30 BC. Carved limestone, from Dendera Temple Complex. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 40627

By Egypt Museum

Ancient Egyptian scrapbook, arts, culture and history

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