2998 – Nile Goddess: Statue of Nathor, Nile Goddess

Physical description:
Resin or ceramic goddess on plinth
Museum classification:
29 x 14 x 6.5
This is a modern replica of a piece of Egyptian female sculpture; original examples of which can be dated roughly between 4000 to 3400 BCE. Some experts call this type of figurine a 'fertility bird goddess', 'Nathor', and also the 'Nile goddess'. It has a beaked face and wing-like arms, hands and human female breasts. The originals were usually made of terracotta and were often found in graves. One of the finest examples can be found in the Brooklyn Museum in the United States, which was excavated in Ma'mariya in Egypt in 1907. This female figurine is thought to be a 'goddess' because of the fact that similar figures painted on Predynastic vessels are always larger than the male priests shown with them. This form of Egyptian female deity is closely linked with the Goddess movement which has its roots in 19th century feminism, but developed significantly in the 1970s. The significance of Egyptian Nile goddesses within the wider Goddess movement stems from the fact that in ancient Egyptian religion, the female is the primary source of life.