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.
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Bust of Neilos. Canopus, AD 100–200. Maritime Museum, Alexandria. Photo: Christoph Gerigk. © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation. http://ow.ly/i/ngB25