The Cobra Statue from the Luxor Cachette is a granodiorite artifact from the New Kingdom era, approximately 1350 B.C. At nearly 80 centimeters in height, it represents a cobra, commonly seen in Egyptian iconography as a symbol of royalty and divine authority. Its darkened patina indicates its antiquity.
The statue captures the cobra in an upright, confrontational posture with a flared hood. The refined depiction of the scales and markings reflects the skill and precision of the carver.
A distinct hollow in the serpent's abdomen, likely designed to accommodate a missing element, is a noteworthy feature. The eyes, once adorned with precious inlays, are currently empty. The image of a sundisk engraved on the hood points to a connection with the sun god, Ra.
Vital evidence of the statue’s origin and intention is suggested by faded hieroglyphs on the base. Despite erosional degradation, the symbols reference Pharaoh Amunhotep III, suggesting the statue's possible commission during his rule.
Considering its elements, such as the royal implication of the cobra, the sundisk symbolizing Ra, and the inscription mention of Amunhotep III, the statue may have functioned as an offering to Ra, a testament to the pharaoh's divine legitimacy, or both.
The cobra's representation in ancient Egyptian art and mythology often connotes power and celestial defense, and this artifact embodies these interpretations. While the statue showcases the artistic proficiency and spiritual conviction of its era, it also provides essential insight into religious practices in the context of the New Kingdom.