Thoth and Maat
Thoth and Maat
One of the most pivotal moments in an individual's transition from life to eternal existence in the afterlife was the judgment of his or her soul. This event took place before Osiris, the main deity of the afterlife, and a group of other gods including forty-two divine judges who assisted in the weighing of the heart that tested the moral worth of the individual. Among the other attendant gods were Thoth, shown her as an ibis, who served as the scribe and recorded the judgment of the deceased, and Maat, shown here as a seated woman, who was the incarnation of truth and cosmic order.
This statue group reflects the taste for composite groups that emerged in the New Kingdom (1550-1069 B.C.) and gained increasing favor in the Late Period (664-332 B.C.). The most poplular groupings incorporated a figure of a god, very commonly Thoth in the form of an aop or ibis, facing a devotee. Many of these statues were donated to temples by individuals to demonstrate their piety and devotion to the god.
This group has been attached to a rectangular base that is carved with ankh and sa signs to provide life and protection. The function of the metal loop at the front of the base is unknown.
Late Period, c. 664-332 B.C.; wood and bronze. Height 10-7/16 inches; Length 13-13/16 inches; Depth 4-1/8 inches. The Egyptian Museum, Cairo
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