Exclusive to The British Museum: a bronze sculpture inspired by the Lion of Amenhotep III from ancient Sudan (as shown in the third image).
This lion is one of a pair discovered in Gebel Barkal, Sudan. They are dated to the 18th Dynasty, around 1370 BC. Originally from the Temple of Soleb in Nubia, the lions acted as guardian figures before a temple built by the pharaoh Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC), an elaborate monument to the cult of the king as a god-like 'lord of Nubia', embodied by the lion.
The inscriptions on both lions reflect their re-use by many rulers. Originally inscribed by Amenhotep III, they were renewed by Tutankhamun (1336-1327 BC), along with an indication that they were moved by his successor Ay (1327-1323 BC). In the third century BC the Meroitic ruler Amanislo moved the lions south to his city of Gebel Barkal and engraved his names on them.
Unlike the traditional pose of the lion or sphinx (which lies straight with its paws out in front of its body) the statues depicted the lion naturalistically, lying on their sides with forepaws crossed.
This reproduction is hand-sculpted from bronze by the artist Peter Lyell of The Bradshaw Foundation - a society committed to the preservation of rock art. The sculpture measures 30cm long by 14cm high.
View the original in the British Museum collection here