Thoth, a multipurpose god in the Egyptian pantheon associated with language, writing and intellectual activity, was most often depicted with an ibis head and human body. In the Late Period and Ptolemaic Period, ibises were bred throughout Egypt to be slaughtered, mummified and offered as votives to Thoth. Gilt, wood and bronze ibises, such as the present example, were often formed as coffins for mummified ibises, or as boxes for "dummy mummies" formed of straw and mud. With or without the mummy, the ibis-form figure would have likely been an offering to the god. For a fine ibis coffin and a further description of the type, see no. 91 in Fazzini, et al., Ancient Egyptian Art in the Brooklyn Museum.