Temple Graffiti: Animals and Plants

Graffito T11. Animal – Ram of Amun

Graffito T11

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A ram, highly significant in ancient Kush as the animal of the Kushite form of the god Amun, whose temple was in nearby Napata (modern Jebel Barkal). Amun of Napata was ram-headed and the processional entrance to his temple was lined with pairs of carved stone rams. By contrast, Amun of Karnak (in Egypt) was human-headed. The ram depicted here wears the double crown of Amun.

The body of this ram is decorated with hatch marks, probably meant to indicate fleece. The forelegs are outlined and the back legs indicated with multiple vertical lines. The chest extends past the head; the lines here are fainter and may indicate a proportional mistake by the carver, which was “fixed” by carving the rest of the body more deeply once the head was added. Alternatively, this extended area of carving could be meant to indicate an object in proximity to the ram.

  • Kurru ID number: 078
  • Location: Column A09-3:1, east face
  • Dimensions (H × W): 15 × 17 cm