At least three Ancient Egyptian statues of Amun in the form of a ram protecting King Taharqa were displayed at the Temple of Amun at Kawa in Nubia. Construction of the stone temple was started in 683 BC by Taharqa, who was pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt and qore (king) of the Kingdom of Kush in present-day Sudan.
The ram is one of the animals sacred to Amun, and several temples dedicated to Amun featured ram or ram-headed sphinx statues.
The British Museum statue depicts a ram is lying on its stomach with its forelegs folded under it, protecting a standing figure of King Taharqa. A hole in the top of the ram’s head indicates where a gilded disk would originally have fitted.
A hieroglyphic inscription runs around the sides of the plinth from front to back and proclaims Taharqa as:
the son of Amun and Mut, Lady of Heaven, who fully satisfies the heart of his father Amun
- The Ashmolean statue is displayed in the redesigned Egyptian and Nubian galleries
- The Khartoum statue is displayed in the yard of the National Museum of Sudan, Khartoum.
Culture/period: Napatan, Kushite
Date: 690-664 BCE
Findspot: Kawa, Nubia
Materials: gneiss granite
Dimensions: Height 106 centimetres (max), length 163 centimetres (base), width: 63 centimetres (base)
Location: British Museum, G4/B9
Museum number: EA1779
Registration number: 1933,0610.1