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Museum purchase, M. H. de Young Endowment Fund
Exquisite sculpture was created during the reign of the Egyptian king Nectanebo I (380–362 BC), and this fragment is a fine example of the creativity and skill of the artists working at that time. What remains is only a portion of a standing figure wearing a long garment. Both a three-dimensional statue and a very fine hardstone relief carving, the figure, whose elegant, long figners are still intact, holds a naos, or small shrine. The shrine was left solid rather than hollowed out to form a cavity for a small statue of a god, as if often the case. Instead, the artist carved a sunken relief image of the goddess "Neith, Mistress of Sais," as the inscription reveals. She wears the crown of the north, where the city of Sais was located, and holds a was scepter, indicating dominion, in one hand and the ankh, emblem of life, in the other. The text on the supporting pillar records an "Utterance by the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Kheper-ka-ra (Nectanebo I)."