Statuette of Taweret



Statue of Taweret shown as a pregnant hippopotamus standing on her hind legs with her left leg striding forward and her hands held at her side. She wears a tripartite headdress and a disc shaped head piece and a broad collar painted in red, yellow and black. The detail of her teeth and nostrils are painted in black and paint and gesso (or resin ?) survives in other places. A crocodile tail flows down her spine from beneath her wig, with faint traces of black and white (?) painted stripes. Taweret was the goddess of fertility and rebirth. She is usually depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus. Many Taweret shaped amulets have been found, but statues like this are rare. This one would have been kept in personal shrine in a home. Traces of red and green on the statue suggest that it would have been brightly painted. The original base is now missing and the statue was remounted before the museum acquired the object in 1949 from Gloucester Museum. In the accession list of 1949 (made by an Ethnology curator) it is described as "wooden figure somewhat like an Egyptian river god but obviously modern". We have no record of how Gloucester acquired the object. Compare with a statue from Deir el Medina in Museo Egizo, Turin, C526 , Christine Ziegler, 'Queens of Egypt From Hetepheres to Cleopatra' (Monaco, 2008), page 321 (cat. no. 150).