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W588 W588

Pale green wooden goose. This was purchased by Wellcome from the MacGregor collection in 1922. The catalogue of the MacGregor sale says that this is of Middle Kingdom date and was found at Arab-el-birk. 

However, concern has been expressed that this object is not genuine, or if it is, it has been repainted. Egyptian green pigment is usually more sandy than is the case with this item. It is possible that the goose was indeed found in a tomb but then repainted to make it more collectable. Radiocarbon dating might be used to date the wood.

 The goose was sacred to the god Amun. Additionally, the god Geb was associated with the goose and sometimes called ‘The Great Cackler’. Geb is sometimes shown with the headdress of a goose. Geese were also eaten. Depictions of food sacrifices in ancient Egypt often show geese and domestication of the grey goose (Anser anser) had probably begun by the Old Kingdom.