Griffin Gallery Antiquities

Egyptian Bronze Pectoral of God Shu & Goddess Tefnut


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Egyptian: Bronze: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1198406

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Egyptian Bronze Pectoral Fragment of the God Shu and his twin, the Goddess Tefnut. Circa 4th - 2nd Century B.C.E. Missing lower portion, but otherwise in excellent condition. 3 1/4" high. Found in the Holy Land. Ex: Archaeological Center, Old Jaffa. The God Shu and the Goddess Tefnut are the first children of the creator God Amun (or Ra). In the ancient Egyptian creation myth, we saw that out of the dark waters of chaos arose this creator who then forged out of his own body his two children. One myth has him spitting them out from his mouth. Another has the Goddess Hathor as Shu's mother - which would then leave us without an explanation as to how Atum could have been the only God in the beginning if he had a mate. Shu was the God of Air. Basically he was everything between the Earth and Sky (who are also his children). He was what held up the sky (his daughter) up above the Earth, with his own hands. Symbolically his form was that of a man with a feather on his head. The feather, of course, represented the lightness of air, and being part of being the God of air, he represented northern wind and cool breezes. His sister and wife, Tefnut, is the Goddess of Mist. She was also associated with Ra’s eyes, sometimes with the lunar eye and sometimes with the solar eye. She was thought to be ferocious and wild, and thus was sometimes depicted with the head of a lioness, and sometimes fully as a lioness. She wore the solar (or lunar) disk with a cobra on top of her head. She gave birth to two children, Geb and Nut, who are the Earth and Sky respectively.