Thoth baptizes a pharaoh with a stream of ankhs in a relief from Philae, Egypt. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Cornice block, A.D. 41-68, Sandstone, From Philae
This block originally formed part of a screen wall that connected the four front columns and sidewalls of the Temple of Harendotes ("Horus the Avenger") on the island of Philae. The relief represents the "baptism of Pharaoh," a purification ritual that was part of Egyptian coronation ceremonies. The gods Horus (not preserved) and the ibis-headed Thoth poured water -- here represented by streams of ankh (life) and was (dominion) hieroglyphs -- over the head of the king. The pharaoh whose head is partially preserved is a Claudian emperor most probably either Claudius or Nero.