Collection: Macquarie University History Museum

Bronze Bust of Isis

Accession # MU4488
Culture Roman
Date c. 1st Century BCE - 1st Century CE
Provenance Unknown
Material/s Bronze
Dimensions 9.3cm (h) x 5.8cm (w) x 2.3cm (d)
Collection Macquarie University History Museum
Source Macquarie University, MAC
Click here to inspect 3d item.
MU4488 is a small bronze bust of the Egyptian goddess Isis depicted in the Graeco-Roman style. Her soft facial features, ringleted hairstyle and style of garments are all typical of this type of representation. MU4488 is intact however, there are clear signs of oxidization as a green rust-like patina can be observed on the surface of the object, especially on the chest and headdress of the of the bust.

Isis is depicted with a garment knotted across her chest with her breasts exposed and wearing a headdress with a lotus blossom. The lotus blossom was an Egyptian symbol related to the concepts of life and rebirth. Isis was one of the most important goddesses in Ancient Egypt being closely tied to funerary rituals and the afterlife. The popularity of the goddess and the worship of her mystical cult spread throughout the Mediterranean and became widely popular at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The cult of Isis began as a secret cult popular among the lower classes however it quickly grew to become a highly structured and popular public religion.

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Macquarie University History Museum (2020). Bronze Bust of Isis, MU4488. // (accessed on: 14 June 2020).

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