miércoles, 13 de mayo de 2015

Crushed skull of a soldier with a copper helmet

Crushed skull of a soldier with a 

copper helmet

From Ur, southern Iraq
about 2600-2400 BC

A guardian of the 'King's Grave'

This skull comes from the 'King's Grave' in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The main tomb was in a rough stone chamber at the bottom of a large pit. The bodies of six soldiers wearing copper helmets and carrying spears lay at the foot of the ramp which descended to it, over eight metres below the modern surface. The helmets were broken and crushed flat by the weight of the soil which had been thrown back into the grave during the burial.
The soldiers were presumably intended to be the guardians of the tomb for eternity. If so, they failed in their duty because the central tomb had been robbed in antiquity. Including the six soldiers, sixty-three victims in total, most richly adorned, filled the floor of the pit.
The soldiers' helmets closely resemble those worn by the soldiers on the Standard of Ur.
C.L. Woolley and P.R.S. Moorey, Ur of the Chaldees, revised edition (Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press, 1982)
C.L. Woolley and others, Ur Excavations, vol. II: The R (London, The British Museum Press, 1934)

British Museum

domingo, 10 de mayo de 2015

double statue

Of The Time Of The Xviiith Dynasty. Discovered by M. Legrain at Karnak.



Neck–amphora (jar), ca. 530 b.c.; Attic, black–figure
Attributed to an artist near Exekias
Terracotta; H. 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm)
Gift of F. W. Rhinelander, 1898 (98.8.13)

Obverse: Apollo between Hermes and goddess
Reverse: Memnon between his Ethiopian squires

In the Trojan War, Memnon, the son of Tithonos and Eos, goddess of the dawn, led a contingent of Ethiopians allied with the Trojans. He was killed by Achilles in a duel watched by their mothers. The present condition of the vase provides insight into the painter's working method. Memnon's shield was drawn with a compass—the circles are evident—and it would have been painted in added white directly onto the clay. Without the white, we can see the cursory sketch that the artist drew for the figure's torso


La estatua falsa de tetisheri

Grandmother of Aahmes, the conqueror of the Hyksos and
founder of the XVIIIth Dynasty. About 1700 B. C. British
Museum. From the photograph by Messrs. Mansell & Co.



Museum number



3/4: Left

Limestone statue of Tetisheri enthroned; Hieroglyphic text on the block-throne; painted detail on the vulture-headdress; a forgery.

© The Trustees of the British Museum

 British Museum

The Famous (Fake?) Statue of Tetisheri

One of the most famous objects in the Egyptian collection of the British Museum is the famous statue of the Seventeenth Dynasty Queen Tetisheri
 "This attractive limestone statuette inscribed with the name of Queen Tetisheri (c. 1550 BC) was long regarded as a key piece for the study of Egyptian sculpture of the late 17th to early 18th Dynasties. Over the years it has played a major role in establishing the accepted view of artistic development in this period, and it has served as the basis of numerous critical assessments of other pieces. The suggestion, made in 1984, that the figure is a modern forgery was therefore considerably disconcerting to art historians.

The statuette was acquired in 1890 from the Luxor dealer Mohammed Mohassib and has since become familiar from illustrations in many popular and scholarly publications. Much less well known is another statuette of Tetisheri, of uncertain provenance, of which only the lower half survived. It was published with photographs in 1916, when in the possession of the French Institute in Cairo, but its present whereabouts are unknown. The obvious similarity of this piece to the figure in the British Museum led scholars to conclude that they had originally formed a fair.

Recent scrutiny of the British Museum sculpture, however, and comparison of its inscriptions with those of the 'companion' figure have cast serious doubts on its authenticity. The inscriptions on the two thrones, though identical in content, are strikingly different in quality and execution. Whereas the texts of the Cairo piece have clearly been carved by a masterful and confident hand, those of the British Museum statue contain numerous elementary errors and omissions which can only be explained as the mistakes of someone unfamiliar with the ancient Egyptian language and with the carving of hieroglyphic texts. Several signs are incomplete, incorrectly formed or absent altogether. Significantly, the sections in which these anomalies occur correspond exactly with areas on the Cairo statue where the texts were damaged or unclear. There can be no doubt that the British Museum texts were copied slavishly from those of the Cairo figure.

While it is possible that the inscriptions on the British Museum's piece have been added to a genuine ancient statue that had been left unfinished, a number of other circumstances suggest that the entire piece is a forgery. Traces of red and blue paint on the figure have been shown under analysis to contain barium sulphate (barytes), widely used by artists in modern times but not employed by the ancient Egyptians in this context. Certain peculiarities of the queen's costume - notably the double shoulder straps of the dress, which leave the breasts bare, and the strikingly unusual wig, which has no exact parallel - cast further doubts on the statue's authenticity. When all these factors are taken into account it becomes difficult to avoid the conclusion that the renowned statuette of Tetisheri is the work of a modern forger, made at Luxor probably shortly before 1890.

Literature: W. V. Davies, The Statuette of Queen Tetisheri, a reconsideration, BM Occasional Papers no. 36, London 1984."

Alfred Grimm / Sylvia Schoske : Im Zeichen des Mondes - Ägypten zu Beginn des Neuen Reiches. - [Katalog zur Sonderausstellung Im Zeichen des Mondes, Ägypten am Beginn des Neuen Reiches, München, Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst, 20. Februar bis 16. Mai 1999]. - München : Staatliche Sammlung Ägyptischer Kunst, 1999. - 121 p. - [Schriften aus der Ägyptischen Sammlung - SAS 7], suspect, however, on page 83 a portrait of an unknown princess / queen from the end of the 17th Dynasty, that was originally to be un-labeled and should be enhanced by the forged paint and inscription, assigning it to the famous queen. They base their view by certain iconographic details, found also in secured contemporary portraits, that may to a forger of the 19th Century have been unknown.

The original study whch established the item as a forgery is this publication from 1984:

Davies, W. V. 1984. The Statuette of Queen Tetisheri: A Reconsideration. British Museum Occasional Papers 36. London: British Museum.

FWIW, the item is no longer on display in the British Museum, although I have seen it in the vaults of the BM quite recently: I suppose they are trying to determine what to do with it.

citado en egyptdreams forum

viernes, 8 de mayo de 2015

Musée du Louvre ostracon

 25303  3011 Musée du Louvre fasc. 4, pl. 152

Ostraca figurés publiés par Jeanne Vandier D’Abbadie (DFIFAO 2, fasc. 1-4)
 et conservés dans d’autres collections qu’à l’IFAO

Une grande partie des ostraca figurés provenant des fouilles françaises de Deir el-Medina ont été publiés dans un même ouvrage par Madame Jeanne Vandier d’Abbadie (DFIFAO 2, fasc. 1-4, 1936-1959), bien qu’ils aient été répartis entre différentes collections : Musée du Louvre, Musée égyptien du Caire, Musée agricole Fouad Ier (aujourd’hui « Musée de l’agriculture » du Caire), collections particulières et Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

Les informations relatives aux ostraca figurés déposés pour étude à l’Ifao se trouvent dans l’Inventaire général des ostraca de l’Ifao. La présente base de données réunit les informations relatives aux ostraca figurés conservés dans d’autres collections qu’à l’Ifao.

Toutes autorisation de reproduction d’une photographie prise par l’Ifao dans l’un des musées cités ci-dessus doit-être soumise à ce musée


Libia y Tiberio

Museo arqueológico nacional

jueves, 7 de mayo de 2015

Swimmer-shaped kohol spoon

Swimmer-shaped kohol spoon

Ostrich Egg

Ostrich Egg Water Containers in the Penn Museum's African Gallery

Museu Egipci . Barcelona

Lady Tjepu

Lady Tjepu
One of the most remarkable paintings to survive from ancient Egypt, this depiction at the noblewoman Tjepu came from a tomb built for her son Nebomun and a man named lpuky. Egyptian artists usually did not depict individuals as they truly looked, but rather as eternally youthful, lavishly dressed, and in an attitude of repose.
Tjepu was about forty years old when this painting was executed, but she is shown in what was the height of youthful fashion during the reign of Amunhotep III: a perfumed cone on her heavy wig, a delicate side tress, and a semitransparent, fringed linen dress.
  • Medium: Limestone, gessoed and painted
  • Place Excavated: Thebes, Egypt
  • Dates: ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E.
  • Dynasty: XVIII Dynasty
  • Period: New Kingdom
  • Dimensions: 14 13/16 x 9 7/16 in. (37.6 x 24 cm)  
  • Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
  • Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
  • Exhibitions:
  • Accession Number: 65.197
  • Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
  • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
  • Caption: Lady Tjepu, ca. 1390-1353 B.C.E. Limestone, gessoed and painted, 14 13/16 x 9 7/16 in. (37.6 x 24 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 65.197
  • Image: overall, 65.197_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
  • Catalogue Description: Fragmentary painting on whitewash over mudplaster of the upper part of a female figure identified through the remains of a text above the back of her head as Thepu, mother of Nebamun of Thebes. She has an ointment cone on her head; one arm is raised, the other hand holds a menat. The hair is black; she wears over an undergarment a white diaphanous shawl which leaves one breast bare. Outline irregular.
  • Brooklyn Museum
  • source: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/opencollection/objects/3743/Lady_Tjepu#

decorated ostrich eggshell

A decorated ostrich eggshell from South Sudan now on view at the Penn Museum's Imagine Africa Exhibit.


Ostrich egg

Ostrich egg
From Ur, southern Iraq
Early Dynastic period, about 2600-2200 BC

This ostrich egg comes from a grave in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. Until fairly recently ostriches were still seen and hunted in the Near East by Bedouin. In antiquity the ostrich, known for its swiftness and strength, was hunted by kings. The Assyrian monarch Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883-859 BC) for example, boasted of having slain two hundred.

While ostrich eggs were used as containers in north Africa during the fourth millennium BC, the earliest eggs so far found from Sumer date to the time of the Royal Cemetery of Ur (about 2600-2400 BC). They probably came from the steppe country to the south of the Euphrates.

Many of the tombs in the Royal Cemetery were provided with ostrich eggs. Most eggs were found smashed, so it is difficult to determine how many whole eggs were cut down as vessels or containers. These vessels, as well as their imitations in gold and silver, could have held food for the dead although eggshell cups were also found in non- funerary contexts.

C.L. Woolley and others, Ur Excavations, vol. II: The R (London, The British Museum Press, 1934)

R.L. Zettler and L. Horne (eds), Treasures from the Royal Tombs (University of Pennsylvania, 1998)
British Museum

miércoles, 6 de mayo de 2015

Bronce mirror with 2 falcons

Bronce mirror with 2 falcons

From Egypt
Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC)
A reflection of the sun-god Re?
The form of the ancient Egyptian mirror changed little from its first appearance in the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC) and consisted of a polished disc of bronze or copper, attached to a handle. The reflective surface was interpreted as the sun disc, because of its shape and shiny qualities. The falcons on this example might represent the sun-god Re.
The handle of the mirror was of wood, metal or ivory. This example has been made to appear as if it has been plaited. A papyrus stalk, or the figure of Hathor were also common. The handle could also be surmounted by the head of Hathor. She was particularly associated with the mirror, which had connotations of sexuality and rebirth.
The same theme can be seen in the handles in the form of nude female figures. They sometimes have their arms outstretched to hold the crosspiece below the disc. Adults were seldom shown without clothes, as this could be interpreted as a lack of status. One exception was dancers, whose erotic dances in tomb scenes, like the figures on the mirrors, were associated with rebirth in the Afterlife.

British Museum

Ivory cosmetic box in the shape of a fish

Ivory cosmetic box in the shape of a fish

Canaanite, 13th century BC
From Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, Jordan
Fish played a role in an unusual burial
This ivory fish-shaped cosmetic box was found inside a bronze bowl which had been strapped, using Egyptian linen, to the genitals of a body found in a grave at Tell es-Sa'idiyeh. Most unusually, the body had been placed face down in the grave, and over the back of the skull were found the skeletons of three fishes.
The site of Tell es-Sa'idiyeh controlled a shallow ford across the river Jordan. In the thirteenth century it was under Egyptian control. This was the final phase of Egypt's domination of the Levant.
Most of the graves at Sa'idiyeh consist of simple, sub-rectangular pits, but the items found in them either show strong Egyptian influence or are purely Egyptian. This Egyptian influence helps explain some of the unusual burial practices. In several instances a bowl made of pottery, or more usually of bronze, had been placed either over the face or sometimes, as here, the genitals, of the individual buried. The majority of the bronze objects from the graves were found to be covered in textile remains, preserved by mineralization through the corrosion of the metal. The textile proved to be Egyptian linen. In some instances the evidence would suggest that the objects had been wrapped in cloth and deposited separately, but in others it is clear that they had been incorporated into a tight binding around the body. This is clearly related to the Egyptian practice of mummification, and indeed in a few cases a black resinous material covered the bones, presumably as a way of preserving the body.
J.N. Tubb, 'Tell es-Sa'idiyeh: preliminary report on the first three seasons of renewed excavations', Levant, 20 (1988), pp. 23-89
C.R. Cartwright, 'Interim report on the archaeobotanical remains from the 1996 season of excavations of the Early Bronze Age complex at Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, Jordan', Interim report on the ninth se, Palestine Exploration Quarterly 129 (1997), pp. 72-75
D. Collon, Ancient Near Eastern art (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)
C.R. Cartwright, 'The archaeobotanical remains from the 1993 season of excavations of the Early Bronze Age complex at Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, Jordan', Interim report on the seventh, Palestine Exploration Quarterly 126 (1994), pp. 52-67

lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015

Coffin of Ikhet

This coffin, which is inscribed for a man named Ikhet, and another inscribed for a woman named Netnefret (32.3.429a, b), are decorated in the same manner, perhaps even by the same painter. In each case, the eye panel at the head end of the left side is placed above a polychrome palace facade with a double door that is clearly bolted shut. This is a "false door" through which the spirit may leave and re-enter the coffin. These coffins are similar in style to two other black-painted coffins in gallery 109 (32.3.428a, b; 32.3.431a, b).

Coffin of Ikhet

Period: Middle Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 13
Date: ca. 1802–1640 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, el-Asasif, East of Pabasa and north of Padiamenemopet, MMA excavations, 1919–20
Medium: Sycomore wood
Dimensions: coffin box: l. 198 cm (77 15/16 in); w. 49.5 cm (19 1/2 in); h. 60 cm (23 5/8 in) lid: l. 177 cm (69 11/16 in); w. 44 cm (17 5/16 in); h. 17 cm (6 11/16 in)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1932
Accession Number: 32.3.430a, b

Met Museum

Model Cart

Model Cart
Animal-shaped pottery vessels mounted on oversized wheels had a long history in the ancient Middle East. This early example has the head of a ram with curving horns. Liquid poured into the hole on top flowed out of the opening in the animal’s snout. A loop on the front allowed the attachment of a cord so that the vessel could be pulled. Such vessels have been excavated in both temples and houses. They were probably used in religious or funerary rituals.
  • Medium: Terracotta
  • Possible Place Made: Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq, Turkey, & Syria)
  • Dates: second half of the third millenium B.C.E.
  • Period: Early Dynastic III Period, or later
  • Dimen

    sions: 9 x 4 x 9 in. (22.9 x 10.2 x 22.9 cm)
  • Brooklyn museum
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