AUTHORS
& Abstracts

A FOOT OF SARAPIS IN THE NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE WITH MUSEUM, BULGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES?

Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2022 N 1

Vessela Atanassova
Institute of Balkan Studies & Center of Thracology
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Bulgaria

Abstract: The National Archaeological Institute with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences keeps a bronze lamp shaped like a foot wearing a sandal topped by a boy holding a goose. Is it possible that this foot represents the so-called Foot of Sarapis? Lamps played an important role in the rituals connected to the solar aspects of the Egyptian deities Harpocrates and Serapis as well as in the Isis mysteries. The feet of Sarapis spread mainly during the Roman period were votive objects representing a part of the body of the god. Considered as part of Sarapis these foot images could become symbolic representations of the god and objects of veneration for Sarapis’s followers. In addition, they were presented as magical objects and were considered to have healing properties. Like the footprints in the temples dedicated to Egyptian deities, these feet materialize the appearance of the deity in the temple and its beneficial powers.

Keywords: Sarapis, Foot of Sarapis, Egyptian Gods, Harpocrates, Harpocrates with a goose.