Bust of Neilos

This
2,000-year-old bust depicts Neilos, the Nile river god. Neilos appealed to
Egyptians and Greeks alike – he was the
Greek version of Hapy, the Egyptian personification of the annual Nile flood
that brought prosperity and fertility to the country. Neilos played a
significant role in one of the most popular festivals in Egypt, when the
beginning of the annual flood marked the Egyptian New Year.

This
bust was once mounted into a large decorative shield and adorned a temple in
the ancient Egyptian city of Canopus. It was discovered by underwater
archaeologists at the base of the wall on which
it once hung.

See more incredible objects that
have been preserved and buried under the sea for over a thousand years in the BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds (19 May – 27 November 2016).

Bust of Neilos. Canopus, AD 100–200. Maritime Museum, Alexandria. Photo: Christoph
Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation.

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