The Goddess Hathor and Seti I

The Goddess Hathor and Seti I, 1290–1279 Bc


Hand-drawn reproduction of an ancient Egyptian bas-relief from the tomb of Seti I, now on display in Musée du Louvre in Paris, France.

This bas-relief was part of the decoration of the tomb well-preserved tomb of King Seti I (KV17) in the Valley of the Kings.

The relief depicts Seti walking towards the still figure of the goddess Hathor, who played an important role in welcoming the dead to the underworld and accompanying them into the afterlife.

Hathor is shown welcoming Seti into her domain and holds out her menat necklace as a symbol of her protection. On the goddess’s wig are the horns of a cow, her sacred animal, and a solar disk showing she is the daughter of Ra. She is named in the hieroglyphic text above using the symbol of a falcon in a building or temple, which reads Hwt-Hr meaning ‘House of Horus’.

The characters’ finery reflects the refinement and elegance of the art from this period and retains some elements of the Amarna style developed fifty years earlier during Akhenaten’s reign.