Hippopotami were feared by the Egyptians because these animals are very destructive and dangerous. By making these statues the Egyptian hoped to controle those dangers and keep them at bay. The lotusflowers painted on the animals are symbols of fertility and the marshes where hippo’s mostly stayed. The goddess Taweret is a pregnant hippo and was worshipped by pregnant women to protect their unborn child.
Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty, 1960 - 1878 BC.
Found in middle Egypt, Meir, Tomb of Senbi II
Source: Metropolitan Museum