Wooden Statue of Ptah
This gilded statue depicts Ptah, the divine patron of craftsmen and artists and lord of creation at Memphis. Twenty-eight wooden statues of deities, wrapped in linen, were found in black-painted shrines. Their purpose was to protect the king during his journey in the underworld.
His gilded statue wears a robe, richly ornamented with feathers, and a broad necklace. A blue faience skullcap covers his head and the eyes and eyebrows are inlaid with faience and stone. Ptah holds a composite staff made up of a “Was” scepter, a Djed pillar, and an Ankh sign.
Ptah seems to be one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon and is attested as early as the 1st 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.
From the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 60739