Copper alloy hollow cast statue of the priestess Takushit at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
This perfectly preserved solid cast statue, made of a mixture of bronze and silver, is the only representation of the princess and priestess Takushit. Takushit was the daughter of Akanuasa, a ruler during the reign of the Pharaoh Pianhi. She is shown walking, her body shapely and full, her facial characteristics intense. She wears a long chiton, which emphasizes her figure and is covered with engraved motifs. These motifs, which are damascened with electrum (gold and silver alloy), are representations of deities from Lower Egypt and Hieroglyphic texts with prayers and dedications addressed to these deities. This statue was probably the priestess’s funerary monument. Its only parallel is the statue of Karamama of the twenty-second Dynasty (924-887 BC) in the Louvre (inv. 500). It was donated by Ioannis Dimitriou.
Copper alloy hollow cast statue of the princess-priestess Takushit.
Lacking its base into which it was set by means of two attachments, which are rectangular in cross-section, placed on the soles of the feet.
The statue was found in 1880, in Lower Egypt, on the hill of Kom-Toruga, near Lake Mariut, south of Alexandria. Late Period, end of 25th Dynasty, ca. 670 BC. It had ritual, votive, and funerary functions.
The statue is depicted striding soundly with its two feet; the left foot is forward in a walking stance, indicative of movement and energy. The left arm is bent under the chest and most likely held a hieratic scepter. The right arm, extended closely against the body, held the menit (musical instrument and necklace). The scepter and the menit make clear her priestly status and her high social position and were the symbol par excellence of priests from the higher social classes. The long, diaphanous robe, which is decorated all over with incised patterns that were filled with precious metal wires (technique of damasking), accentuates the beautifully shaped, sensuous body. The decoration is divided into fine horizontal bands, which alternate with four thinner strips at the midsection, the pelvis, the thighs, and the knees. The first band, which covers the torso, is wider. The bands are decorated with representations of divinities from the Northeastern area of the Nile Delta (the homeland of Takushit), while the strips are filled with hieroglyphs that communicate prayers to the said divinities.
Her name means “the Ethiopian” and possibly refers to a family connection to or a marriage with an Ethiopian. According to the inscriptions that the statue bears, her father was Akan II, the Great Chief of the Libyan tribe Ma, and her office was of priestess “waab” (pure-chaste priestess), which according to the religious hierarchy was the lowest priestly title.
The use of the statue was ceremonial while the priestess was alive, and was part of the ritual equipment of the sanctuary, in which there was a priestess. After her death, it was used for votive and funerary ends and it decorated her tomb, which, according to the custom of the time, is located within the sanctuary precinct.