Al-Ahram Weekly Online   11 - 17 June 2009
Issue No. 951
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Piety in ancient Egypt

THIS STATUE of a worshipper making a votive of three gods is in Cairo Museum. Many of the statues that have survived from ancient Egypt are in fact such votive pieces donated to the gods by Pharaohs, noblemen, priests, or various officers of the state. In the Late and Ptolemaic periods, smaller bronze statuettes of deities or sacred animals were used for devotional purposes, and pious individuals from the lower strata of society donated perishable offerings such as food, drink or flowers, trinkets and simple objects. It is a measure of the constancy of Egyptian society that when the worship of ancient gods came to an end, ancient traditions survived -- and continue to survive until today.

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