One of my favourite things to do when I was little was watching documentaries about ancient Egypt. I was (and still am) so fascinated by every single piece of their history.
Visiting an egyptian collection is even more fun when you have your personal translator with you. Yes, that is right. Lazar has studied egyptology back in Bulgaria and can actually read some of those pretty hieroglyphs. How lucky am I?
This cute little statuette is one of the gems of the egyptian collection in Kunsthistorisches Museum. During the Old Kingdom the female hippo was seen as a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth. Egyptian women wore amulets depicting the hippo goddess - Taweret, to protect their pregnancies. The motif was used in the decorations of beds and headrests, because of its protecting powers.
The image of the goddess has changed with time. Later on, the goddess was depicted as half human, carrying an ankh - the symbol of life, or a knife - to chase away evil spirits. This statuette depicts the original perception of the goddess. It is more than 4000 years old and is so well-preserved, its colours and details still amusing the people.
In ancient Egypt even in death the rich people differed from the poor. You can see how different the left mummy mask is from the right one. The gilding on the face symbolizes the union of the dead with the Sun God. The black and gold wig and the rich gilding suggest that it was the death of a wealthy man. The right mask has more details but has been done with more ordinary materials and suggest the death of a less wealthy man. However, both of them depict the close connection between an ordinary person and God, and the striving for perfection and eternal life.
Are you fascinated by ancient Egypt as much as I am?