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Egyptian Owl

 
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Kevin
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject: Egyptian Owl Reply with quote

I have an owl statue from Egypt and I have no idea what or who it represents. I seem to recall owls were associated with the afterlife but I wondered if there was a deity that was represented by an owl? Any help you could give would be appreciated, thanks.


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Montuhotep88
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recall reading one time how odd it was that the Egyptians did not appear to have an owl-deity (at least until the Greek influence imported Athena).

It looks to me a lot like someone started with the lower half of a "Horus"-type falcon but completed the upper part as an owl.

Despite the hieroglyphs on the base, it doesn't look much like the Egyptian statuary I'm accustomed to, and I can't remember seeing any Pharaonic-era representations of owls in the round.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weren't owl considered to be one of the guardians of the underworld?
After the Greeks came to power in Egypt, Greek coinage was used. One of the figures on the Greek coin was Athena, and the observse side usually had her sacred bird, the owl.
And, of course, the owl was used as a hieroglyph sine pro-dynastic times.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooops!
sine = since
(proof-read, proof-read...)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just emailed you a short article by Percy Newbury about the owl.

Like Osiris mentioned, the owl is depicted in hieroglyphs (the 'm' sound).


Newbury wonders if there may be a link between Owls and Sais.
In old inscriptions there is mention of an "Owl City" and this may have corresponded with what was later Sais.

The main deity Neith was later identified with Athena, and Athena was sometimes shown holding an owl.

Having said all that, I do not remember ever having seen an Egyptian statue of an owl.

But for sales purposes you can mention the conjectures connection of the owl to Sais and possibly the goddess Neith?
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Kevin
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info guys, and thanks for the email Anneke, very interesting. Smile
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Leena
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the owl as a hieroglyphic sign: have you noticed it looks straight at you - not usual in Egyptian art where you usually got the profile of a head?

Leena Smile
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anneke, if I might trouble you, could you email that Newbury article to me, too? This is something that also interests me. I've always been curious why the owl is so prominent in the hieroglyphic script but otherwise so scant in other aspects of the culture. Confused
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just emailed it to you Very Happy
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J-Mak
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Montuhotep88 wrote:

It looks to me a lot like someone started with the lower half of a "Horus"-type falcon but completed the upper part as an owl.


At first I thought it was a statue Horus, it has the same build.
It could possible be an 'Ancient Egypt meets tourism' type of statue.
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child_of_Set0409
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The owl was a symbol of Thoth, god of wisdom and writing, although the statue looks like it's from the Ptolmaic period. It looks to be more Greek than Egyptian. Hope that helps! Smile
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QueenNefertiti
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am sure I have read before that owls where one of the gardians of the underworld. But I am not sure.

Athena the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, was dipicted holding an owl, and owls are thought to be wise...wisdom... Idea

I am sorry I can't help, but I will try and find out for you.

Pru xxx

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