Both Hathor on the left and Bat on the right flank Menkaure in this fourth Dynasty triad statue, the goddesses are providing the authority for him to be king; note the feather of Ma'at held by the emblem on Bat's crown - Cairo Museum
In the image above, a king of the fourth dynasty has a goddesses on both sides of him. They are remarkably similar in this large sculpture, however, their crowns identify them clearly. The emblem on Bat repeats the sistrum imagery and her zoomorphic face is present upon it (wearing another sistrum). The image on her crown carries the feather of Ma'at as well.
Bat was completely eclipsed by Hathor. She is hardly ever depicted though we find her more often in jewelry such as amulets. Her head is human but the ears are bovine and horns grow from her temples. She is a very ancient goddess; the earliest evidence of her dates to the late Pre-Dynastic period. She was a cow-goddess of the sky with the power to see the past and into the future. This ability is referred to in the Pyramid Texts, where she was called "Bat, with her two faces." The deceased pharoah associated himself with Bat in this form. Later, she seemed to be the personification of the sistrum. She was the deification of the Milky Way made by Bat, which was compared to a pool of cows milk. Her name is the feminine form of the word "ba", the name of one of the major elements of the soul. She was associated with the ankh, the symbol of eternal life that was associated with ba, as it represented life and with the sistrum.The sistrum is a musical instrument whose shape is very similar to that of the ankh and which was thought to drive away evil. This instrument is depicted with her head and neck as the handle and base, with rattles placed between her horns. The imagery is repeated on each side, having two faces. The sistrum was displayed on top of her head when she was depicted as a woman. This rattle became one of the most frequently used sacred instruments in temples to any deities.
The imagery of Bat as a divine cow is remarkably similar to that of Hathor. The significant difference in their depiction is that Bat's horns curve inward and Hathor's curve slightly outward. Some say that this "could be based in the different breeds of cattle herded at different times. The breeds herded changed later in the history of Egypt, when the climate shifted. Temporal differences in the cults could be reflected in the imagery of the cattle depicted, Hathor resembling the leaner breeds of the later. Hathor's cult centre happened to be in the 6th Nome of Upper Egypt, which lay next to the 7th where Bat was the cow goddess, which may indicate that they were once the same goddess, whose two different titles led to divergence of the goddess under each. In many cases the differences were so strong that, as a result, there has been considerable confusion of the goddesses amongst Egyptologists."
Occasionally we see her appearing as a celestial cow surrounded by stars.
In the Pyramid Texts, where she was called "Bat, with her two faces." could represent the two banks of the Nile or both Upper and Lower Egypt. A cow goddess who is thought to be Bat appears on a pectoral from the twelfth dynasty flanked by Horus and Set (representing upper and lower Egypt) implying that she was a force which unified the two lands. She is most likely the cow-goddess seen at the top of the famous Narmer palette, which celebrated the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Though niether Hathor or Bat are mentioned in name. Bat is also famously seen on a unification pectoral in which she, as a sistrum), sits between Horus and Seth. Horus and Seth. Her image influenced the cult of Hathor.
The Narmer Palette, also known as the Great Hierakonpolis Palette or the Palette of Narmer, is a stone object that is said to date from about the 31st century BC and contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. It is thought by some to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt during the first dynasty under the pharaoh Narmer and Bat is used as the images at the top of each side of the object. Since both countries, being cattle herding cultures that date to 8,000 BC, had primary cow deities who were seen as the mother and protector of the king, she became a creation and protector deity that was shared by both of the unified countries (along with the warrior lioness deity).
Both depictions of the goddesses(top page, the triad) are looking straight on at us, not viewed from one side or the other as the heads of most deities.
According to Wikipedia; "This characteristic may be related to the role of these goddesses as all-seeing witnesses, sun goddesses, and protectors. Very early deities such as Wadjet were depicted full faced also, and most who were, share identification with the wadjet eye. Sometimes two (bilateral) eyes appear at the top of murals without any suggestion of the rest of the celestial animal or deity implied, so well was the understanding of the ancient imagery understood in the culture.The cow goddess was called upon to confer the office upon the king and to provide the authority to sit on the throne, as king. This role for the local cow deity would have existed in each kingdom, the small as well as the large, and their cults could have had minor differences from region to region. After unification the cults of Bat and Hathor almost merged and many aspects—and traditions were exchanged—although they diverged again over time, with Hathor becoming quite distinct and having a greater role in the later Egyptian pantheon. Centralisation to one deity conferring the office of the king was essential for the unified country, yet the differences kept them apart for a long time."
Pic of Bat with stars from
Narmer Palette, Gerzeh Palette and the Triad from
Glitter background from
Egyptian set from
Unfortunately Tahani's site Gulf Mystery is no longer online.