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"Cow Statues" In Private Tombs Of Dynasty 26

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Chapter Summary

The group of 26th Dynasty cow statues, represents an important aspect of Late Period tomb decoration and funerary religion. From the beginning of the 26th Dynasty on, it develops as a type of private sculpture made for private tombs. It has been assumed that the cow statue of Psamtik, together with the statues of Osiris and Isis, were meant for the temple and put into the tomb later on "for unknown reasons". The symbolic aspect of cow statues and cow imagery in the tombs evokes the concept of a divine cow guiding a deceased person to the place of judgment, therefore assisting in the transition from life through death to rebirth and regeneration. At the same time, a divine statue itself is an object of worship. This dual meaning of a cow image reflects the dual function of a Late Period tomb, as a tomb and a temple.

Keywords: 26th Dynasty cow statues; private tombs; Psamtik



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