Ichneumon Figure



Solid cast copper alloy statuette of an ichneumon (or mongoose), standing on a thin pedestal. Probably from the top of a relic-box for an ichneumon. Described by Professor Percy Newberry as being of a “fine technique” and dating to the Ptomaic Period. The animal was cherished by the Egyptians for its ability to kill cobras and for this reason was associated with the gods Re and Atum who took the form of an ichneumon to kill the evil snake Apophis. The animal is also associated with Horus, the snake goddess Wadjet and the goddess Mafdet. The ichneumon was associated with the shrew, and together they represented the two faces of the sun-god, the ichneumon being a diurnal animal as opposed to the nocturnal shrew.