Statuette of the God Ptah

This bronze statuette depicts Ptah, the Chief god of Memphis, patron of craftsmen and architects. In the Memphis triad, he is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertem. He was also regarded as the father of the sage Imhotep.

A statue like this would have been housed in a wooden shrine; when the shrine doors were open, the statue might have been the recipient of offerings and incense or the focus of ritual chants and music. When its period of use was over, the still sacred statuette would be deposited in a cache within the temple walls.

Statuette of the God Ptah
Statuette of the God Ptah

Ptah seems to be one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon and is attested as early as the First Dynasty. However, the great god of Memphis was originally only a local deity, his importance grew over time and he came to play extremely important tasks .

The role played by the city of Memphis was certainly fundamental in his rise: it was originally called Ineb-hedj (White Walls) and it was the administrative capital of Egypt at the time of the unification of the country, around 3000 BC. Mythologically, Ptah’s consort was the lioness goddess Sekhmet and together with their son Nefertem they made up the major triad of the Theban region.

Late Period, ca. 664-332 BC. Now in the Louvre. E3305