Art & Artists / Highlights / Figure of a walking hippopotamus

Figure of a walking hippopotamus

Figure of a walking hippopotamus
Dynasty XII (c. 1880 BC)
Egypt
Faience
h 9 x w 18.4 x d 7 cm
1973
UEA 306

The Hippopotamus figurine may have served as a talisman to protect the tomb or assist the rebirth of the deceased. It was intended to avert danger, which may be connected to the fact that the hippopotamus was a hazard to the early inhabitants of the Nile Valley, destroying crops and trampling fields.

The plastic qualities of this sculpture owe much to the fact that it was modelled from Egyptian faience, a paste composition of granular quartz, fused with alkali and coloured with a blue-green copper compound.

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