TITLE: Goddess Neith
CULTURE: Ancient Egypt
PERIOD: Late Period 664 - 323 BC
SIZE: Height 17.8 cm
PRICE: 5,000 Euros.
PROVENANCE:A private collection in Detroit, USA.
CONDITION: In a good state of preservation but missing the feet and the base of the figure.
A statuette in solid bronze representing the goddess Neith. She is modeled standing with a gown so close-fitting that the navel can be discerned beneath. She is wearing a "wesekh" collar and two armbands, one on each arm. The right hand is clenched in a fist near the hips. This most certainly was holding a sceptre as there is a perforation through the hand. The left arm is extended forward as if to hold the "was" staff (a wide staff ending in the form of a fantastic animal, characteristic of all the gods). On her head she is wearing the typical headdress characteristic of this goddess, the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. The ankles and feet of the figure are at present lost.
The goddess Neith is represented with the head and body of a woman, not of an animal as in the majority of cases. Early on she was thought to be the goddess of war and hunting, and later creator of gods and men. She was a funerary divinity, goddess of knowledge and an inventor. The Greeks associated her with Athena.
She is represented with the above mentioned Red Crown, with a bow and two arrows or an owl and spear or a weaving bobbin. She was also represented as a beetle, bee, cow, fish, with a lion head and sometimes suckling a crocodile. She was worshipped in Sais, where the priests of this goddess were obstetricians, and also in Esna, Tanis, Memphis, Prosopolis and El Fayum.