lunes, 26 de octubre de 2015

EC726 and EC727 Model faience vessel

EC726 and EC727 Model faience vessels
The artefact on the left is EC726, and that on the right is EC727. Both are faince tablets with four model vessels theron, probably associated with the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony.
Faience tablet with four containers thereon. Such items have for long proved mysterious and have been interpreted variously as model cereal bins or inkwells, or even cosmetic containers. However, it seems most likely that they were used in cultic ritual, probably including the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony.
Items like this date to the Late Dynastic Period and are found in both temples and tombs. Grallert (in press) identified over 90 such sets. Vessels may be categorised as being like nemset or desheret types, though ours are more clearly like Grallert’s granary type (Grallert fig. 3).
Grallert discusses the finding of a few examples from elite tombs of the Theban area or further south ranging from the 26th to 30th Dynasties. Two were found in a box with other ritual objects which were clearly ritual in the tomb of Tjaenhebu dating to the 26th Dynasty (Grallert; Strudwick 2009, 228, fig. 9).
Strudwick notes that several of the other items found in the same box (for example four rectangular blocks of alabaster) are clearly associated with the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony. Both he and Grallert further identify the four vessels with the four vessels placed on mats illustrating Opening of the Mouth scenes on tomb walls and with the list of items used in the Opening of the Mouth ritual which appears in the tomb of Merymery.
These items are also, however, also found in temple contexts. For similar items from temples see Green (1987, 64–65). One might ask why they were used there. That similar vessels were also used in temple ritual in the morning purification and awakening of the god is clear from various descriptions of temple ritual (Gardiner 1935; Hays 2009; Cauville 2012, 28). The jars contained water for purification (Hays 2009, 5; Cauville 2012, 28). It is clear that these rituals included the same elements and intentions as the Opening of the Mouth Ritual performed on mummies, namely to animate the god.
Of course, clearly these are model vessels and it would have been impossible to pour liquid from them. Thus, it seems they were intended to perpetuate the Opening of the Mouth ritual for all eternity.
The items may now be better understood, but still retain some mystery. Why, for example, are they suddenly introduced in the 26th Dynasty? As Grallert states, other new items seem to have been introduced into the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony at this time, items which are not depicted in mural texts or which appear in earlier burials. It could be that this was part of a larger archaizing tendency.
This item was purchased at Fosters auction on 19th February 1931 (lot 176). We have another similar item (EC726).
Further Reading:
Cauville, S. 2012. Offerings to the Gods in Egyptian Temples. Leuven: Peeters.
Gardiner, A.H. 1935. Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum. London: British Museum.
Grallert, S. Integrated Sets of Model Vessels in Late Period Burials from Lower Egypt - A Preliminary Report, in Kousoulis, P. and Lazaridis, N. (eds.), Proceedings of the Xth International Congress of Egyptologists, Rhodes 20–28 May 2008, Leuven: Peeters (in press).
Green, C. 1987. The Temple Furniture from the Sacred Animal Necropolis at Saqqara. 1964–1976. London: Egypt Exploration Society.
Hays, H.M. 2009. The Ritual Scenes in the Chapels of Amun, in The Epigraphic Survey, Medinet Habu Vol 9. The Eighteenth Dynasty Temple Part I. The inner sanctuaries. Chigago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1–14.
Strudwick, N. 2009. True ‘ritual objects’ in Egyptian private tombs? In Backes, B, Müller-Roth, M, and Stöhr, S. eds. Ausgestattet mit den Schriften des Thot. Festschrift für Irmtraut Munro zu ihrem 65. Geburtstag. Wisbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 213–238.…/collec…/258-ec726-and-ec727

domingo, 25 de octubre de 2015

The Papyrus of Reri

The Papyrus of Reri
SPELL 27. Column 3, bottom: To prevent the heart of the deceased being taken from him in the realm of the dead [and thus dying the second death]. Reri holds his heart in his left hand, hi right hand raised towards 4 gods sitting on a plinth. “Oh you who take away hearts and accuse hearts … Hail to you lords of eternity, founders of everlasting! Do not take [this person’s heart] …”.

The Papyrus of Reri XXIV

The Papyrus of Reri

SPELL 24. Column 2, lower: To bring magical power to the deceased in the realm of the dead

Relief of Nut pouring water for the Ba

Relief of Nut pouring water for the Ba
The sky goddess Nut is shown kneeling on the hieroglyph for "basin". She is pouring water from two vases into the extended hands of the Ba-bird. Beneath his arms, a small offering table is represented carrying two round loaves of bread. The relief presumably comes from a tomb. It is a variant of the familiar scene of the tree goddess who presents food and drink to the Ba-bird or the deceased, which is often found on coffins and tomb walls. The basin underneath the tree refers to Chapter 59 of the Book of the Dead. Above the bird's back are three amulets: the djed-pillar and two Isis-knots or blood of Isis, symbols of the continuity of life associated with the cult of Osiris. The scene is set amidst a frieze of kheker-symbols, whose knotted bundles are visible three times on the left and once on the right of the scene.

Inventory number 5092
Archaeological Site UNKNOWN
Category RELIEF

Width 42 cm
Depth 8.5 cm

Bibliography•Seipel, W. (ed.), Götter Menschen Pharaonen, Speyer (1993) = Dioses, Hombres, Faraones, Ciudad de México (1993) = Das Vermächtnis der Pharaonen, Zürich (1994), Nr. 250.
•Katalog "Wasser und Wein", Krems (1995), Nr. 1/12.


Head from a Ba-Bird Statue

Head from a Ba-Bird Statue

Nubian. Head from a Ba-Bird Statue, 1st century B.C.E.-2nd century C.E. Sandstone, 6 3/4 x 5 x 6 in. (17.1 x 12.7 x 15.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 75.26. Creative Commons-BY

Brooklyn Museum



Period: Late Period

Date: ca. 712–343 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Southern Upper Egypt, purchased at Aswan

Medium: Wood, paint

Dimensions: h. 21.8 cm (8 9/16 in); w. 7.6 cm (3 in)

Credit Line: Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966

Accession Number: 66.99.143

Met Museum

ba bird from a coffin

Image of a Ba-bird on a Footpiece from a Coffin

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The human-headed bird represents the ba-soul, part of the Egyptian soul that could leave the tomb and travel both in this world and in the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians recited spells to ensure that the ba returned to the mummy, its natural home, from its various journeys
MEDIUM Wood, plaster, paint

•Place Made: Egypt

DATES ca. 945-712 B.C.E.


PERIOD Third Intermediate Period

DIMENSIONS 11 x 12 5/8 x 5 5/8 in. (28 x 32.1 x 14.3 cm)

Brooklyn Museum


The spirit, or ba, in the shape of a human-headed bird, had to return to the body each night or the deceased would perish. (Courtesy J. Taylor, 2001. Death and the Afterlife, British Museum Press, fig. 10)


Wood, pigmentLate Period, Dynasties 25–30, ca.750–350
DenderaGift of the Egypt Exploration Fund,1897–18986.9 x 7.1 x 2.8 cmOIM E4461Oriental Institute digital imagesD. 17908–09

Ba bird

McClung Museum



Mummy mask of a man

Mummy mask of a man
Roman period
Brooklyn Museum

Hathor fetish capital

Hathor fetish capital

Third Intermediate Period, Dyn. 22, reign of Osorkon II
874–712 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Bubastis
When the last king of Dynasty 21 died without an heir, the throne passed peacefully to his son-in-law’s family. The new royals were of Libyan stock, but their family had lived in Egypt for five generations, and only their names, Shoshenq and Osorkon, betrayed their foreign ancestry. They hailed from Bubastis in the eastern Delta, which they embellished with great monuments. The ancient temple of Bastet was completely rebuilt. Herodotus, who visited several hundred years later, wrote that other temples might be larger, or have cost more to build, but none was “a greater pleasure to look build, but none was “a greater pleasure to look at.” Yet it was quite large enough, and costly. Today the site is so ruined that it is impossible to reconstruct an accurate plan of the temple in any period of its history. When the Egypt Exploration Fund excavated at Bubastis from 1887 to 1889, Boston received an exceptionally large and impressive share of the finds, including the enormous papyrus-bundle column, the colossal statue of Ramesses II, the block statue of Mentuherkhepeshef, and this majestic column capital, the best-preserved
example out of five found at the site. Front and back are beautifully carved with the face of the goddess Bat. She has the usual cow’s ears and upturned hairstyle, crowned by a frieze of uraei (cobras) wearing sun disks. Engraved on the sides of the capital, beneath pairs of uraei wearing the crown of Upper Egypt, are the cartouches of Osorkon II, fifth king of Dynasty 22. Because the face of Bat was appropriated by Hathor as her fetish or sacred emblem about the end of the Eleventh Dynasty, it remained closely associated with her, although it was also considered an appropriate
adornment for other great goddesses such as Bastet and Isis whose cults gained importance in the Late Period.


From Bubastis, great temple of Bastet, hypostyle hall. 1887-888: excavated by Edouard Naville for the Egypt Exploration Fund; awarded to the Egypt Exploration Fund by the government of Egypt; April 12, 1888, presented

to the MFA at the Sixth Annual General Meeting of the Egypt Exploration Fund, through the Reverend W. C. Winslow. (Accession Date: January 1, 1889)

MFA Boston

sábado, 24 de octubre de 2015

The tomb TT45 was carved during the period of Amenhotep II

we find two small servants attending “the daughter of his daughter, the chantress, Akhmut” (view yr-142). The first one, leaning over the lady, applies an unguent or a perfume from a white vase speckled with brown that is in turn being held by a young Nubian woman, who is recognisable by her darker complexion. In the following scene (view yr-136) another Nubian woman is arranging a floral necklace around the neck of “the daughter of his daughter, Isis”; behind her one can find, standing, “the daughter of his daughter Dinimouti” (view yr-146) who is holding in her hand one of the floral necklaces, as well as opened and closed lotus flowers. On the image we can distinguish quite well the little blue pearls constituting the belt which, from the time of Djehuty, was the only item of clothing on her body.
The tomb TT45 was carved during the period of Amenhotep II (c. 1427 – 1400 B.C) for Djehuty, an official of modest rank

Stela of Mentuwoser

Stela of Mentuwoser
This rectangular stone stela honors an official named Mentuwoser. Clasping a piece of folded linen in his left hand, he sits at his funeral banquet, ensuring that he will always receive food offerings and that his family will honor and remember him forever. To the right of Mentuwoser, his son summons his spirit. His daughter holds a lotus, and his father offers a covered dish of food and a jug that, given its shape, contained beer.
To show clearly each kin...d of food being offered, the sculptor arranged the images on top of the table vertically. The feast consists of round and conical loaves of bread, ribs and a hindquarter of beef, a squash, onions in a basket, a lotus blossom, and leeks. The low-relief carving is very fine. The background was cut away only about one-eighth of an inch. Within the firm, clear outlines, the sculptor then subtly modeled the muscles of Mentuwoser's arms and legs and the shape of his jaw and cheeks. The chair legs and the calf's head have also been carefully formed. The hieroglyphic inscriptions in sunk relief state that in the seventeenth year of his reign King Senwosret I presented the stela to Mentuwoser in appreciation of his loyal services. Mentuwoser's deeds are described at length. He was steward, granary official, and overseer of all manner of domestic animals, including pigs. He is described as a good man who looked after the poor and buried the dead. Senwosret's throne name, Kheperkare, appears within a cartouche in the middle of the top line.
The stela once stood at Abydos, the sacred pilgrimage center of the god of the underworld Osiris. Mentuwoser's image and the prayers on the stela were meant to bring him both rebirth and sustenance at the annual festivals honoring Osiris. At such festivals family members and other pilgrims would visit the commemorative chapels in which the stelae were set up, and at its end this stea's text addresses explicitly three groups of people: 1. any scribe who shall read the stela; 2. any person who shall hear the stela read aloud; 3. all people who shall approach it. It is thus suggested that, according to ancient Egyptian understanding, the written word—and its imagery—reached many more people than only just the fully literate.

Period: Middle Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 12, year 17
Reign: reign of Senwosret I
Date: ca. 1944 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt, Northern Upper Egypt, Abydos (Umm el-Qaab, Tell el-Manshiya, others)
Medium: Limestone, paint
Dimensions: H. 104.3 cm (41 1/16 in); w. 49.7 cm (19 9/16 in); th. 8.3 cm (3 1/4 in)
Met Museum

Wall painting fragment with Gorgon mask

Wall painting fragment with Gorgon mask

Period: Early Imperial, Julio-Claudian

Date: ca. A.D. 14–68

Culture: Roman

Medium: Fresco

Dimensions: L. 8 in (20.3 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1892

Accession Number: 92.11.8

This fragment with its rich and ornate design, comprising a Gorgon mask, a gold-colored vase, and a bird with outspread wings, is similar to other frescoes found in houses and villas in and around Pompeii. It also reveals some of the technical features of Roman wall painting, for the details were added a secco (on dry plaster) on top of the white fresco background.

Met Museum

Neues museum

Salles d'égyptologie du musée : la cour égyptienne dans son état d'origine. Celle-ci n'existe plus aujourd'hui
Berlin, Neues Museum: Aegyptischer Hof, Lithografie nach einem Aquarell von Eduard Gaertner


The principal nave of the center hall of the Museum
Boulaq Museum


Heracles matando a Busiris y a sus seguidores. Hidria de figuras rojas del Ática, c. 480 a. C., Staatliche Antikensammlungen (Inv. 2428).

viernes, 23 de octubre de 2015

Akhénaton, Néfertiti et leurs filles
Musée égyptien du Caire

Stele of Shabaqo,

Stele of Shabaqo, Late Period, Dynasty 25, reign of Shabaqo, ca. 712–698 b.c.
Limestone; H. 14 1/4 in. (36 cm), W. 8 7/8 in. (22.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1955 (55.144.6)
Shabaqo, second king of the Kushite Dynasty 25, succeeded his brother Piye. Devout followers of the god Amun, whose temples the pharaohs of the New Kingdom had established in Nubia, they invaded Egypt and deposed the rulers of Dynasty 24 to restore it to what they considered to be proper religious order. Shabaqo ruled from Thebes, pursued a revival of old Egyptian traditions, and built or rebuilt many temples. He was, however, buried in Nubia, at el-Kurru.

This stele records the donation of property to a temple through the good offices of the king. Shabaqo is depicted on top offering to the god Horus and goddess Wadjet. Unusually, the text of the stele is in monumental hieratic (cursive) Egyptian rather than in hieroglyphs.

Met Museum

Haremhab as a scribe

Haremhab as a scribe, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun or Aya, ca. 1336–1323 b.c.
Egyptian; said to be from Memphis, Temple of Ptah
H. 46 in. (116.8 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. V. Everit Macy, 1923 (23.10.1)

Haremhab was a royal scribe and general of the army under Tutankhamun. He continued to serve during the reign of Aya and eventually succeeded Aya as king. This statue was made before he ascended the throne. Here, Haremhab is depicted in the scribal pose, seated on the ground with legs crossed. Across his knees he unrolls a papyrus scroll on which he has composed a hymn to the god Thoth, patron of scribes. The shell containing his ink lies on his left knee. Over his left shoulder is a strap with a miniature scribe's kit attached to each end. A figure of the god Amun is incised on his forearm, perhaps indicating a tattoo. By having himself depicted as a scribe, Haremhab declares himself to be among the elite group of literate individuals, thus following a tradition more than a thousand years old of depicting great officials as men of wisdom and learning.

Although the scribal pose exhibits the frontal orientation common to all formal Egyptian statuary, it may be appreciated more fully as a piece of sculpture in the round since it has no back pillar. Haremhab sits erect, but relaxed, his gaze slightly down, as if reading the papyrus on his lap. The youthful face reflects the features seen on many statues depicting Tutankhamun. This unlined face is belied by the potbelly and the folds of flesh beneath the breasts, artistic conventions indicating that the subject has reached the age of wisdom. The style of this magnificent lifesize sculpture retains some of the softness and naturalism of the earlier Amarna Period (the time of Akhenaten), while looking forward to later Ramesside art.
Met Museum

Shawabti of Siptah

Shawabti of Siptah, New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, reign of Siptah, ca. 1194–1188 b.c.
Alabaster; H. 8 1/4 in. (20.9 cm)
Gift of Theodore M. Davis, 1914 (14.6.179)
Siptah, the last king of Dynasty 19, appears to have ruled along with the dowager queen Tawosret, who succeeded him briefly after his premature death. He left few monuments except his tomb and unfinished mortuary temple.

This alabaster shawabti of the king was found in his tomb by the American excavator Theodore Davis. Shawabti figures were placed in burials and inscribed with spells that allowed them to substitute for the deceased in performing manual labor in the afterlife.

Met Museum

jueves, 22 de octubre de 2015

pottery figure of a woman

Pottery figure of a woman with red painted features (lips, ears, necklace, armlet and feet) and black features (hair, necklace and armlet). Found at Abu Sir and is from the late New Kingdom

Petrie Museum