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.
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
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Ägyptisch - Orientalische Sammlung
Ägyptische Sammlung, INV 4211
1878, acquired with the Miramar Collection
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