Priest of Cádiz

7th century BC

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Madrid, Spain

The figure was found in 1928 at Cádiz during the construction of a building and is known as the ‘Priest of Cádiz’ because of the place where it was found has been traditionally considered the area of the temple of Melqart. However, its features identify it as the image of a deity imported from the western Mediterranean. It has been suggested that it represents the god Ptah, although the iconography does not completely match up. According to more recent studies, the figure could have formed part of a group of statuettes that, although they were made under Egyptian influence, aimed to represent gods that were not Egyptian, perhaps gods who protected trade in the Mediterranean. The composition of its bronze, with arsenic and zinc, suggests that it was an imported piece, possibly from Phoenicia. This type of figurine was very common during the second half of the 2nd millennium BC in Egypt. They began to be made in Phoenicia throughout the Iron Age, and then their use later spread across the entire Mediterranean. This one formed part of a group of bronze and gold figures discovered in sacred places and offered as propitiatory votive offerings.


  • Title: Priest of Cádiz
  • Date Created: 7th century BC
  • Provenance: Gadir (Cádiz, Spain)
  • Type: Goldsmith - Metalwork
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Nacional
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Bronze and gold
  • Cultural Context: Phoenician

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