Statue of Hathor Protecting Psamtik
This schist statue depicts goddess Hathor protecting Psamtik who is standing in a posture of prayer, with the seal of his profession as chief scribe hanging from his neck.
Psamtik is standing beneath the figure of a cow representing the goddess Hathor. She was the goddess of love, music, and motherhood. Here Hathor wears her usual crown of the sun disk, with two tall feathers inserted between her horns and the uraeus, or rearing cobra.
Hathor was a multifaceted deity. Her name, literally ‘the abode of Horus’, immediately emphasised the close connection with the falcon-headed god, whose mother or wife the goddess was. In this role, Hathor was considered a solar deity and could represent the sky, the home where Horus was free to fly.
Hathor was also goddess of love, female sexuality and motherhood. She was called ‘the beautiful to behold’ and was believed to assist women during childbirth. In the Theban area, Hathor was also the protector of the necropolis and was likened to the sycamore tree, whose task was to nourish the deceased.
Late Period, 26th Dynasty, ca. 664-525 BC. From the Tomb of Psamtik, Saqqara. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 38927