Statuette of a hippopotamus

11th–12th Dynasty, ca. 2000 BC , Presumably from Thebes



Statuette of a hippopotamus

Statuettes depicting hippopotami, symbolic of regeneration in the hereafter, were popular grave goods that were placed close to the mummy in the coffin. Plants and animals characteristic of the marshes where the hippo lived are depicted on its body. The king’s ritual hippopotamus hunt symbolized his victory over the forces of chaos with which the animal had been associated since primeval times.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Raum V

Object data

Object Name





Middle Kingdom


11th–12th Dynasty, ca. 2000 BC


Faience, greenish-blue glaze, painted


H 10,5 cm, L 20,7 cm, B 7,5 cm, G 1138 g

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Ägyptisch - Orientalische Sammlung

Inv. No.

Ägyptische Sammlung, INV 4211


1878, acquired with the Miramar Collection

IGS - Nilpferd

OESG - Nilpferd

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