3285, Mummified falcon, Late Period; 716-332 B.C.; or later
Artist: Photographer: Ardon Bar Hama
Material: Gessoed and painted wood
Dimensions: 3 3/8 x 2 x 6 5/8 in / 8.6 x 5.7 x 17.2 cm
This wooden falcon figure probably adorned a coffin lid or canopic box, which would have contained the internal organs of the deceased. During the mummification process, organs were embalmed separately from the body, and placed in their own boxes. The falcon represents Sokar, lord of Rostau, the entrance to the underworld. Sokar was a funerary deity important to the necropolis of Memphis, and was closely associated with the Memphite creator god, Ptah.
Freud’s figure has a mortise hole on the top of its head, indicating that it may have had an attached headpiece, perhaps a double plume with a solar disk, an attribute commonly found on such figures.