Votive Ram’s Head of Penta-weret

This splendid bust of a ram with curving horns and stylized mane is placed on an inscribed pedestal. The top of the pedestal is marked by a cavetto cornice and a torus molding. The front has a shallow incised decoration of Amenhotep I in front of an offering stand. He is identified as “Amenhotep of Karoi”, meaning of southern Nubia.

Other inscriptions mention the “priest of Amun of Karnak with right of access, the scribe of the barn of the temple of Amun, Penta-weret” as the donor of the statue. The offering formula mentions, of course, “Amun-Re, the Ruler of Thebes”, appearing in this statue in his form of a ram.

Votive Ram’s Head
Votive Ram’s Head

The ram’s head apparently played a special role during certain festivals in Thebes. It served as the hieroglyph for “majesty, respect”, especially used for Amun. This majestic, monumental votive gift, a donation from Penta-weret to honor the deified king Amenhotep I in the temple of Amun at Karnak, is one of the more important creations of the later Ramesside Period.

New Kingdom, 20th Dynasty, Ramesside Period, ca. 1189-1070 BC. Serpentinite, from Karnak. Now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

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