This little piece, only a little over 9 inches wide, is a model tambourine made of faience. This sort of object was given as an offering to Bastet at festivals and the scene visible on this side shows Bastet’s sacred boat sailing on her sacred lake at one of these festivals.

You can see quite a few details on the boat – at the rear is a gazelle head decorating the prow. Next to this are a pair of large oars like you see on model boats, and a little (hawk headed?) chap who may be tending them or may be gazing at the central shrine.

The shrine in the centre contains another sort of a shrine, a naos shrine. On the side of that (or inside, I’m not sure which) is presumably Bastet or her statue flanked by two winged protective beings. To the right is another figure, kneeling and possibly holding a flagpole.

Then at the front are two standards. One of this is a barque sphinx, or “sib” – I’ve shared a picture of a real example of these before: And at the very front is another decoration, which I can’t quite make out.

Model Tambourine Showing the Barque of Bastet. Provenance unknown. Third Intermediate Period, c. 1070-712 BCE. Acc. No.: 17.194.2399

The piece dates to the Third Intermediate Period, around 2500-3000 years ago. It’s not known where it was found, but it’s now in the Met Museum with accession number: 17.194.2399.

See it on my photo site:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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