Permanent Collection Highlights :: Museum Of Cadiz

Deity statuette

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Photo Description:
Bronze piece made using the lost-wax technique. Altura, 36 cm. Archaic Phoenician period (8th-7th centuries BC). Origin Surrounding area of the islet of Sancti Petri (San Fernando-Chiclana de la Frontera, Cádiz). Comments The five Bronze Phoenician objects found in the surrounding area of the former temple of Melqart-Hercules held in the Museum of Cádiz constitute a unique set of pieces in the Phoenician world. Classical sources from the Roman period point out the strange character of the cult practised in this sanctuary in Cádiz, full of clearly Phoenician elements. One of these was the absence of the actual image of the god, the attributes of which are personified in the iconography of other deities of an Egyptian (Osiris) and Syrian (Resheph) type. In this piece, we see Melqart as a reflection of Osiris, with the canons of Pharaonic art, with loincloth, nemes and the crown of this god (atef). Melqart thus takes on a funerary character, similar to the Egyptian Osiris, as a god which dies and is brought back to life. According to the Roman historian Justin, the fame of the temple in Cádiz was largely due to the fact that it preserved the ashes of the mortal body of \"Hercules\".

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