The University of Arizona
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The Maned Hippopotamus at Lahun: Identifying Homes and Names

Stephen Quirke, Campbell Price


In 1889–1890, Flinders Petrie directed clearance of a late Middle Kingdom town site near al-Lahun to produce a plan of the buildings and a general description of Middle Kingdom material culture. The finds include a dramatic limestone image of the mixed hippopotamus-lion known in Egyptology by the Late Egyptian name Taweret “the great (female power).” This sculpture was mentioned, but not illustrated, in his excavation report and has therefore not attracted the attention of researchers. Here we assess the figure through its modern and ancient history, in the light of recent fieldwork at settlement sites contemporary with the Lahun town.

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