martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014
|Period:||Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18|
|Dating:||1570 BC–1293 BC|
|Physical:||20cm. (7.8 in.) -|
The dimensions, construction, color scheme, and general style is similar to that of the more complete sarcophagus lid catalogued in this collection under number 646.
Sarcophagus is a Greek term used in Egyptology to designate a container made to protect a mummified body (the term literally means “body eater”). Although we are guilty here of using the term loosely, the generally accepted convention today is to use ‘sarcophagus’ for a stone container, and ‘coffin’ for a wooden or metal container.
Initially, Egyptian coffins were rectangular (sometimes with arched tops). They were decorated with symbolically charged motifs and ritual texts. Around Dynasty 12 (Middle Kingdom) appeared the first anthropomorphic coffins, which followed the general shape of the human body. By the New Kingdom, royal burial sets had become very elaborate: “The mummy. . . lay in three mummiform coffins; the innermost is made of solid gold, and the other two of wood covered with sheet gold. . . [the] set of anthropomorphic coffins was laid into a rectangular or cartouche-shaped sarcophagus, which in turn was surrounded by several chapel-like wooden structures. . .” (Redford 2001:283).
In many ways, Dynasty 18 could be viewed as the golden age of the Egyptian Civilization. Spanning almost 280 years (1570-1293 BC), it ushered in the New Kingdom by a return to a powerful, monolithic Egyptian nation unified by a heavily centralized government under the undivided control of the king.
Egypt’s dominions expanded to include territory rife with natural resources; this wealth of resources fueled Egypt’s economy to unprecedented levels; the economic activity prompted the development of international trade and diplomacy; cultural and technological exchanges, together with spreading wealth, yielded a blossoming of the arts, and a widespread refinement of the Egyptian culture.
It would be unfair, if not untrue, to suggest that the achievements of Dynasty 18 were greater than those of, say, Dynasty 12 in the Middle Kingdom, or Dynasty 3 in the Old Kingdom. But the sheer volume of exquisite material goods produced and preserved from that period, the tantalizing political intrigues and mysteries of its controversial monarchs (such as Queen Hatshepsut and King Akhenaten), and the comparatively extensive written record (both from within and without Egypt), cannot help but make Egypt’s Dynasty 18 a most fascinating period of human history.
Founded by King Ahmose, who reclaimed the Delta from the Hyksos, Dynasty 18 saw some of the most enlightened monarchs of Egypt’s history. Blending the unwavering projection of military power with the development of social policies and the shepherding of culture, they left an indelible mark on their civilization. After a long period of prosperity and stability under a succession of kings named Tuthmosis and Amenhotep (and the great queen Hatshepsut), the dynasty stumbled when Amenhotep IV attempted to change just about everything about Egyptian culture: under his new name Akhenaten, he left the old capital and built a new one, abandoned Egypt’s traditional gods and created a new monotheistic cult, abandoned Egypt’s established artistic conventions and fostered a new, disturbingly realistic, aesthetic canon. Too much, too fast, Akhenaten’s reforms were soon undone. His capital was abandoned, his monuments destroyed, and records of his reign meticulously expunged. Turning a new page, his successor Tutankhaten soon changed his name to Tutankhamun. The Dynasty never regained its luster, and soon made way for a new line of rulers emerging from the ranks of the military: the Ramessids.
Bibliography (for this item)Michalowski, Kazimierz
1968 L’art de l’ancienne Egypte. Editions d’art Lucien Mazenod, Paris, France.
Bibliography (on Sarcophagus)Redford, Donald B.
2001 Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press, London. (283)
Cartonnage of Princess Baket, Dyn. 18
This is one of the cartonnage trappings of the mummy of Great Royal Princess Baket, daughter of Thutmose III, Dynasty 18. This piece, which once laid on the chest of the mummy of the princess, depicts Goddess Isis wrapping her protective arms/wings over the defunct. A thin gold band highlights her headdress, capped by the solar disk and the cow horns, attributes of Isis.She is framed by two identical columns of hieroglyphs proclaiming: “Great Baket. It's me.” On both sides beneath her wings, offering tables are presented by the king wearing the crown of upper Egypt.
In all likelihood, this piece was commissioned by her father the king, and the goddess was thus depicted assuming the physical appearance and wearing the favorite attire of the deceased young princess. And so, this may very well be a faithful portrait of the lovely Princess who, 3,500 years ago, wore those opulent jewels and diaphanous dress.
Cartonnage was a material used in the production of personal funerary ornamentation (masks, pectorals, foot casings, and sometimes whole coffins).
It was made with several layers of linen glued together and shaped in a mold. The resulting shell was usually coated on one side with gesso (a mixture of glue and whiting plaster). This smooth medium was well suited to detailed painting and gold leafing.
Although earlier examples are known, it is around Dynasty 18 that cartonnage became a material of choice, and it remained a popular medium though the roman period. In later times, the linen layers were sometimes replaced with recycled papyrus documents. Many of the papyri currently studied by Egyptologists were recovered from cartonnage.
Bibliography (for this item)
1912 Le livre des rois d’Egypte. Tome 2: de la XIIIe à la fin de la XVIIIe dynastie. Institut Français d’Archeologie Orientale, Cairo, Egypt. (
1986 A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, United Kingdom. (
Matouk, Fouad S.
1971 Corpus du scarabé égyptien. Tome 1: Les scarabés royaux. Fouad Matouk, Beyrut, Lebanon. (
Period: Egypt, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, Thutmose III/Menkheperre
Dating: 1504 BC–1450 BC
Origin: Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Material: Cartonnage (all types)
Physical: 41.5cm. (16.2 in.) -
Bibliography (on Cartonnage)
1991 Duke Papyrus Archive. http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/, Durham, NC.
Lucas, A., and J.R. Harris
1999 Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries (unabridged republication of the 1962 fourth edition by Edward Arnold Publishers). Dover Publications, New York, NY.
domingo, 2 de noviembre de 2014
All the attestations of his name are in N. Swelim (op. cit. p.189); there is also an impression on clay jar-stoppers which was found by Quibell (Archaic Mastabas 1923 p.34) in the Saqqara Third Dynasty tomb S2322 (c. 40 m. east of Ruaben S2302).