c. 1540–1296 BC
Overall: 2.2 x 3 x 4.2 cm (7/8 x 1 3/16 x 1 5/8 in.)
Weight: 62.1 g (2.19 oz.)
John L. Severance Fund 1992.114
The word hippopotamus comes from the ancient Greek for "river horse" (ἱπποπόταμος).
Sensuously carved and polished to a silky luster, this weight takes the form of a hippopotamus head. Eyes, ears, and nostrils ae modeled in relief; the mouth is closed. The flat underside provides a surface on which to rest the object. This hippo head weighs 62.1 grams, roughly three-quarters of a deben, a unit of weight in ancient Egypt. As such it does not correspond to any of the more usual subdivisions of the deben, although similar examples are known. In fact it is an inter-standard weight, representing eight seniu or two-thirds of a deben, and is equivalent of an Aegean unit of 62.1 grams.
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