The Tutankhamun Exhibit
Statues, Sculptures and Containers
Small Gilded Wood Figure of the God Ptah
Twenty-two black wooden shrines occupied most of the south side of the Treasury. Each shrine had folding doors, tied with a sealed cord. They enclosed figures, usually one or two, enveloped in linen from the neck downward. One of the figures represented Ptah, the patron deity of artists and craftsmen. His cult center was at Memphis, the capital of Egypt when the pyramids were built. His priesthood believed that Ptah had created the world, the gods, and all living beings by uttering their names according to the prompting of his heart. Memphis was sometimes called Hikuptah, "Spirit Mansion of Ptah", which in its Greek form Aiguptos, "Egypt", became the name of the country. In this gilded wooden figure Ptah is shown wrapped in a garment of feathers and wearing a blue faience skullcap. He holds a was scepter with an animal's head and the symbols of "life" and "stability".