User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Ancient Egypt 2019

  • Statuette of Isis as a mourner

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Statuette of Isis as a mourner

    664–525 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 32.9 x 6.8 x 14.9 cm (12 15/16 x 2 11/16 x 5 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, gilt and plychrome decoration

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    72.4127

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) - 109 More Info

    Description

    Figure of the goddess Isis is the position of a mourner, kneeling with her proper right hand raised to her face and her proper left hand resting flat on her lap. She wears a straight sheath dress and tripartite wig, with the hieroglyphic symbol for her name (a throne) on her head. Traces of paint are preserved, indicating that her wig was painted blue, her eyes and eyebrows black, and her dress read. Her skin was originally gilded. Compare fragmentary Nepthys in this pose 29.2627.

    Multimedia

  • One of a pair of sandals

    Slide Notes

    Details

    One of a pair of sandals

    1550–1186 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width: 21.5 x 8 cm (8 7/16 x 3 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Straw

    Classification

    Costumes

    Accession Number

    03.1720

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery - 210 More Info

    Description

    Plaited reed sole, with a finely woven edge; twisted thongs. See also 03.1721.

    Multimedia

  • King Menkaure, the goddess Hathor...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    King Menkaura, the goddess Hathor, and the deified Hare nome

    2490–2472 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Width x height x depth x weight: 43.5 x 84.5 x 49 cm, 187.8 kg (17 1/8 x 33 1/4 x 19 5/16 in., 414.02 lb.) Mount (Steel pallet sits on wooden reinforced pedestal/4-steel clips): 10.2 x 62.5 x 64.8 cm (4 x 24 5/8 x 25 1/2 in.) Case (wooden pedestal): 100.3 x 68.6 x 71.1 cm (39 1/2 x 27 x 28 in.) Block (Plex-bonnet): 105.4 x 64.5 x 67 cm (41 1/2 x 25 3/8 x 26 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Greywacke

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    09.200

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    G.M. Lane Gallery (Egyptian Old Kingdom) - 207 More Info

    Description

    The sublime beauty of this triple statue masks the sophistication of its composition. The central and largest figure is Hathor, an important goddess throughout Egyptian history associated with fertility, creation, birth, and rebirth. She was the king's divine mother and protector. Here, she wears a headdress of cow's horns and a sun disk, but otherwise her appearance is that of a human female, and she is depicted with the same hairstyle and garment as her earthly counterparts. Hathor embraces King Menkaura, who is standing to her left. He wears a crown symbolic of Upper Egypt (the Nile Valley) and a wraparound kilt whose sharp pleats conform to the outline of his body. In his right hand he holds a mace, a weapon frequently wielded by kings in relief, but until now not reproduced in stone sculpture. Here, artists solved the problem of carving its thin and fragile shaft in the round by resting it on Hathor's throne. In Menkaura's left hand is a short implement with a concave end; it is generally interpreted as a case for documents. Size corresponds to hierarchical position in Egyptian art, and while visually Hathor and Menkaura appear to be the same height, the seated goddess is significantly larger in scale. Like Menkaura's queen in the pair statue (pp. 86-87), Hathor's embrace is one of association, not affection, and all three figures gaze impassively into a distant horizon. The third and smallest figure is a goddess of lesser importance, associated not with the entire country, but with a single district in Upper Egypt known as the Hare nome. It is symbolized by the rabbit standard she wears on her head. An artist has cleverly merged the ankh sign she carries in her left hand with Hathor's throne. The Hare nome goddess, like Hathor and Menkaura, exhibits a body proportioned according to the Old Kingdom ideal of beauty and is modeled with the restrained elegance that makes this period a highpoint of Egyptian art. The inscription on the sculpture's base clarifies the meaning of this complicated piece: "The Horus (Kakhet), King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Menkaura, beloved of Hathor, Mistress of the Sycamore. Recitation: I have given you all good things, all offerings, and all provisions in Upper Egypt, forever." It signifies that all the material goods produced in the Hare nome will be presented to the king to sustain him in perpetuity. One theory suggests that eight such triads, each featuring the king and Hathor with one of the other nome deities, were set up in Menkaura's Valley Temple.

    Multimedia

  • King Menkaure (Mycerinus) and queen

    Slide Notes

    Details

    King Menkaura (Mycerinus) and queen

    2490–2472 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 142.2 x 57.1 x 55.2 cm, 676.8 kg (56 x 22 1/2 x 21 3/4 in., 1492.1 lb.) Block (Wooden skirts and two top): 53.3 x 180 x 179.7 cm (21 x 70 7/8 x 70 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Greywacke

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    11.1738

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    G.M. Lane Gallery (Egyptian Old Kingdom) - 207 More Info

    Description

    At twilight on January 10, 1910, a young boy beckoned George Reisner to the Menkaura Valley Temple. There, emerging from a robbers' pit into which they had been discarded were the tops of two heads, perfectly preserved and nearly life-size. This was the modern world's first glimpse of one of humankind's artistic masterworks, the statue of Menkaura and queen. The two figures stand side-by-side, gazing into eternity. He represents the epitome of kingship and the ideal human male form. She is the ideal female. He wears the nemes on his head, a long artificial beard, and a wraparound kilt with central tab, all of which identify him as king. In his hand he clasps what may be abbreviated forms of the symbols of his office. His high cheekbones, bulbous nose, slight furrows running diagonally from his nose to the corners of his mouth, and lower lip thrust out in a slight pout, may be seen on her as well, although her face has a feminine fleshiness, which his lacks. Traces of red paint remain on his face and black paint on her wig. His broad shoulders, taut torso, and muscular arms and legs, all modeled with subtlety and restraint, convey a latent strength. In contrast, her narrow shoulders and slim body, whose contours are apparent under her tight-fitting sheath dress, represent the Egyptian ideal of femininity. As is standard for sculptures of Egyptian men, his left foot is advanced, although all his weight remains on the right foot. Typically, Egyptian females are shown with both feet together, but here, the left foot is shown slightly forward. Although they stand together sharing a common base and back slab, and she embraces him, they remain aloof and share no emotion, either with the viewer or each other. Who is represented here? The base of the statue which is usually inscribed with the names and titles of the subject represented, was left unfinished and never received the final polish of most of the rest of the statue. Because it was found in Menkaura's Valley Temple and because it resembles other statues from the same findspot bearing his name, there is no doubt that the male figure is King Menkaura. Reisner suggested that the woman was Queen Kamerernebty II, the only of Menkaura's queens known by name. She, however, had only a mastaba tomb, while two unidentified queens of Menkaura had small pyramids. Others have suggested that she represents the goddess Hathor, although she exhibits no divine attributes. Because later kings are often shown with their mothers, still other scholars have suggested that the woman by Menkaura's side may be his mother. However, in private sculptures when a man and woman are shown together and their relationship is indicated, they are most often husband and wife. Because private sculpture is modeled after royal examples, this suggests that she is indeed one of Menkaura's queens, but ultimately, the name of the woman represented in this splendid sculpture may never be known.

    Multimedia

  • Model scene of workers ploughing a...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Model scene of workers ploughing a field

    2010–1961 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length: 54 cm (21 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Models

    Accession Number

    21.408

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Calderwood Middle Kingdom Funerary Arts - 119 More Info

    Description

    Two men ploughing a field with two oxen. The scene is brightly painted and mounted on a wooden base.

    Multimedia

  • Model of men making bricks

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Model of men making bricks

    2010–1961 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width x height: 54.5 x 17.4 x 25.5 cm (10 1/16 x 6 7/8 x 21 7/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Models

    Accession Number

    21.411

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Calderwood Middle Kingdom Funerary Arts - 119 More Info

    Description

    While late Old Kingdom tombs had included limestone statuettes of people engaged in chores such as food preparation, a new development occurred during the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom. Now, models made of wood, a less costly material, were manufactured in large numbers and placed in the burial chamber to furnish provisions for the deceased in the afterlife. In symbolically providing for the tomb owner's needs, the models functioned in much the same way as painted scenes of these activities did on the walls of tomb chapels. The tomb of Djehutynakht contained what may be the largest collection of wooden models ever discovered in Egypt. At least thirty-nine of them, including these four, represent scenes of food production and crafts. Upon opening the tomb, however, archaeologists discovered that robbers had ransacked it in antiquity, possibly on more than one occasion, throwing the models haphazardly around the small burial chamber. Only through years of research and restoration are they being returned to their original configuration. The models vary greatly in quality, and many of them were mounted on pieces of wood recycled by the artists from old boxes or chests. The colorfully painted figures nevertheless convey a liveliness and energy that give us a sense of the bustling activities of Egyptian daily life. They also demonstrate innovative poses and subjects that would never have been attempted in the more formal sculptures that represented the tomb owner and his family. Djehutynakht's collection of models also included a variety of manufacturing scenes. One of the more unusual shows several phases in the making of bricks. At one end, two men gather clay. One breaks up the hard ground with a hoe while the other collects or kneads the clay with his hands. The Nile valley's rich mud is represented by the black paint used for the base of the model, as well as on the hands of the crouching figure. A second pair of men carried the clay in a now-missing basket suspended from a pole. Finally, a squatting man shapes the bricks with a mould and places them in the sun to dry. Toward the end of Dynasty 12 a change occurred in Egyptian burial customs for reasons that remain unclear. Although model boats continued to be placed in tombs, the scenes of crafts and food production disappeared permanently from the repertoire of funerary offerings. At approximately the same time, early versions of shawabtys, mummiform figurines intended to serve on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife, began to become more common in burials.

    Multimedia

  • Model carpenters

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Model carpenters

    2010–1961 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Width x height x depth: 18 x 27.5 x 23 cm (7 1/16 x 10 13/16 x 9 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Models

    Accession Number

    21.412

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Calderwood Middle Kingdom Funerary Arts - 119 More Info

    Description

    Model of a carpentry scene showing two men, one standing and sawing a board (the saw is now missing) and the other squatting and shaping a board, probably using an adze (also missing).

    Multimedia

  • Model of a bakery and brewery

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Model of a bakery and brewery

    2010–1961 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Width x height x depth: 22 x 24.3 x 28 cm (8 11/16 x 9 9/16 x 11 in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Models

    Accession Number

    21.886

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Calderwood Middle Kingdom Funerary Arts - 119 More Info

    Description

    While late Old Kingdom tombs had included limestone statuettes of people engaged in chores such as food preparation, a new development occurred during the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom. Now, models made of wood, a less costly material, were manufactured in large numbers and placed in the burial chamber to furnish provisions for the deceased in the afterlife. In symbolically providing for the tomb owner's needs, the models functioned in much the same way as painted scenes of these activities did on the walls of tomb chapels. The tomb of Djehutynakht contained what may be the largest collection of wooden models ever discovered in Egypt. At least thirty-nine of them, including these four, represent scenes of food production and crafts. Upon opening the tomb, however, archaeologists discovered that robbers had ransacked it in antiquity, possibly on more than one occasion, throwing the models haphazardly around the small burial chamber. Only through years of research and restoration are they being returned to their original configuration. The models vary greatly in quality, and many of them were mounted on pieces of wood recycled by the artists from old boxes or chests. The colorfully painted figures nevertheless convey a liveliness and energy that give us a sense of the bustling activities of Egyptian daily life. They also demonstrate innovative poses and subjects that would never have been attempted in the more formal sculptures that represented the tomb owner and his family. Food production is the dominant theme among the model scenes, and a variety of activities are represented. The most common scene shows men at work in a granary building. Grain was the basic unit of wealth and exchange in ancient Egypt, and careful accounting of the crop was essential. Much of this grain was destined for the production of bread and beer, staples of the Egyptian diet. Brewing and baking took place in the same shop, and both men and women shared in the work. In the model shown here, one woman grinds the flour while a second carries a tray of bread loaves to the oven, and a third tends to the flame. Meanwhile, a man prepares beer by pressing mash through a sieve and into a jar. Toward the end of Dynasty 12 a change occurred in Egyptian burial customs for reasons that remain unclear. Although model boats continued to be placed in tombs, the scenes of crafts and food production disappeared permanently from the repertoire of funerary offerings. At approximately the same time, early versions of shawabtys, mummiform figurines intended to serve on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife, began to become more common in burials.

    Multimedia

  • Fragment of a mummy-case

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Fragment of a mummy-case

    1070–760 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 24.5 x 14.5 cm (9 5/8 x 5 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Cartonnage

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Coffins, Sarcophagi

    Accession Number

    72.4807

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Fragment of a cartonnage mummy case depicting Osiris and two of the four sons of Horus. Gesso on linen. Heavy white priming; light yellow ground; three figures in conventional profile to left in red, green, blue, yellow and black; irregular edges.

    Multimedia

  • Model of weavers

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Model of weavers

    2010–1961 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width x height: 40.5 x 14 x 27 cm (15 15/16 x 5 1/2 x 10 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Models

    Accession Number

    21.891

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Calderwood Middle Kingdom Funerary Arts - 119 More Info

    Description

    Painted wooden model of a group of women spinning and weaving. The two women at the front are spinning flax. The two women at the back are working on a loom.

    Multimedia

  • Relief from the tomb of Prince...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Relief from the tomb of Prince Kawab

    2551–2528 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 55.2 x 36.8 x 20.9 cm (21 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Limestone

    Classification

    Architectural elements, Relief

    Accession Number

    34.59

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    G.M. Lane Gallery (Egyptian Old Kingdom) - 207 More Info

    Description

    This figure's informal pose, balding pate, and small scale relative to the heron perched on top of the caged birds leave little doubt that it is not Kawab, the prince and owner of the tomb from which the relief came. Instead, he must be one of the overseers of Kawab's estate. The birds - pintail ducks in the top cage and what may be wigeons below - represent the yield of a day's fowling in the marshes. This stellar catch was undoubtedly achieved with the help of the heron, shown at rest with his neck curled into his shoulder. The ancient Egyptians domesticated herons and used them as decoys to attract other birds, a practice that continues today. The slightly curved line below the overseer's feet indicates that he is on a small boat. Although this is all that remains, the entire scene may be reconstructed to include the capture of birds with a clapnet in the marshes, and a large-scale standing figure of Kawab, toward whom the skiff is heading. Kawab's tomb was one of the largest in the East Cemetery at Giza and was prominently located near the Great Pyramid built by his father, Khufu. The many tiny fragments that remain indicate that its exterior chapel was once decorated with a variety of scenes of life on the owner's estate, including fowling and the herding and butchering of animals. Although this piece was executed in rather bold raised relief, others were cut in much lower relief. In all cases, subtle detail would have been added in paint, which unfortunately has not survived. Whoever destroyed the reliefs probably smashed the ten or twenty stone statues that were originally in the tomb as well. It is likely that both Kawab's father and wife outlived him. Although a space was prepared for Kawab's mate in his mastaba, she was buried instead in the tomb of her next husband.

    Multimedia

  • Relief of Akhenaten as a sphinx

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Relief of Akhenaten as a sphinx

    1349–1336 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 51 x 105.5 x 5.2 cm (20 1/16 x 41 9/16 x 2 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Limestone

    Classification

    Architectural elements, Relief

    Accession Number

    64.1944

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery - 210 More Info

    Description

    Although Akhenaten's religious reforms purged Egyptian art of many of its most familiar manifestations, the king remained fond of the sphinx and often had himself depicted as that fantastic creature - part man, part lion. In Old Kingdom times, the Great Sphinx at Giza probably stood for the king presenting offerings to the sun god, while in the Eighteenth Dynasty the mighty monument was reinterpreted as the sun god Horemakhet, or Horus in the Horizon. Its impeccable solar credentials therefore made the sphinx an appropriate image for Akhenaten at el-Amarna, the city he called Akhetaten, "Horizon of the Sun Disk." This relief was one of a pair flanking a temple doorway. The sphinx on it rests on a plinth, suggesting that it represents a statue. A pair of such reliefs flanking the doorway of a small temple would have evoked the grand avenues of sphinxes that traditionally led up to the entrance pylons of larger Egyptian sanctuaries. Here the sphinx is equipped with human arms and hands to enable him to make offerings to his god, the sun disk, Aten, who appears at the upper left. He wears the uraeus of kingship while behind him (to the left) are two cartouches containing his lengthy official name. The sun's life-giving rays end in so many hands, some holding ankh-signs. Below are three offering stands. To the right, Akhenaten as sphinx raises one hand in adoration while in the other he holds a neb sign, a basket signifying lordship, holding Aten's cartouches. These same cartouches appear a third time in the upper right where they are joined with the cartouches of Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, who is thus present in name if not in image. The rest of the inscription describes the "great, living Aten" as "dwelling in the Sunshade temple [called] Creator of the Horizon [which is] in Akhetaten." The temple named here, yet to be located, must be the one for which this block was carved. Akhenaten's religious revolution was accompanied by a change in the way pharaoh was depicted, showing a marked departure from the idealized images favored by his predecessors. Even though the king's face has been sadly hacked away, one can still discern his characteristic slanted eyes, long nose,hollow cheeks, drooping lower lip, and pendulous chin.

    Multimedia

  • Pectoral

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Pectoral

    1783–1550 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 11.2 x 36.5 x 0.5 cm (4 7/16 x 14 3/8 x 3/16 in.)

    Medium

    Gold and silver with inlays of carnelian and glass

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Pendants

    Accession Number

    1981.159

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    104 More Info

    Description

    Composed of baseplates made of hammered silver sheet, with soldered and gilded silver cloisons (partitions) inlaid with carnelian and glass, this sumptuous pectoral was fit for a king. It takes the form of a vulture with outstretched wings representing the tutelary goddess of Upper Egypt, Nekhbet, grasping coils of rope, a symbol of eternity. To the left of the vulture's body is a rearing cobra. She is Wadjyt, the goddess of Lower Egypt. Together, they form a pair referred to as the "two ladies," guardian deities of the king. The pectoral was made as a piece of funerary equipment rather than as jewelry to be worn in life. The three separate pieces representing the wings and body of the bird were not joined to one another; rather, the edges of the base plates were pierced with holes for fastening the ornament to something else, most likely the chest of the mummy or an anthropoid coffin. The wings also curve laterally, further supporting this assumption.

    Multimedia

  • Pendant on a chain

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Pendant on a chain

    1070–712 B.C.

    Dimensions

    height x width pendant 7.1 x 2.5 cm (2 13/16 x 1 in.). Length chain (doubled) 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)

    Medium

    Gold with glass inlays

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Pendants

    Accession Number

    68.836

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery - 210 More Info

    Description

    According to Egyptian mythology, the young sun god was borne up out of the primordial waters of chaos inside a blue lotus flower, which opened to reveal him on the first morning. The artist of this fine pendant characterized the god's tender age with the sidelock of youth. He is seated with knees drawn up as in a hieroglyph. The tiny uraeus on his brow proclaims him as royalty, illustrating the link between the king and the young sun god. Although the figure appears to be on top of a lotus blossom, we are meant to understand him as being inside the flower, in the same way as the contents of an open bowl in Egyptian art can be drawn standing up on its edge. Although the jewel was previously dated to the reign of Ramesses II, the closest parallels date to the Third Intermediate Period, when the motif of child god on the lotus enjoyed a great vogue.

    Multimedia

  • Shawabty of Neferhotep

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Shawabty of the Overseer of Builders, Neferhotep

    1550–1295 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 21 cm (8 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Stone; limestone

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Shawabtys and Shawabty Boxes

    Accession Number

    1985.707

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) - 109 More Info

    Description

    Finely carved limestone shawabty wearing a striated tripartite wig and a broad collar, and holding a pair of hoes and a pair of baskets. Nine horizontal lines of text inscribed around the lower body and legs include chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead and the name and titles of the Overseer of the Builders of Amun, Neferhotep.

    Multimedia

  • Sarcophagus of a serpent or eel

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Sarcophagus of a serpent or eel

    760–30 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x length: 14 x 3.8 x 55 cm (5 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 21 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Bronze

    Classification

    Religious and cult objects

    Accession Number

    1986.239

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) - 109 More Info

    Description

    Bronze sarcophagus for a serpent or eel. The eel was sacred to the creator god Atum of Heliopolis, and numbers of eels and snakes must have been offered in the god's sanctuaries. This container for such an offering combines the body of an eel with the hood and head of a cobra. The cobra wears the false beard of a deity and a double crown with uraeus. Its head is supported by a prop hidden by the hood.

    Multimedia

  • Shawabty of Huy

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Shawabty of Huy

    1295–1186 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 23.5 cm (9 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Wood with painted gesso

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Shawabtys and Shawabty Boxes

    Accession Number

    72.4902

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian Funerary Arts Gallery (Mummies) - 109 More Info

    Description

    Painted wooden shawabty wearing a black tripartite wig and brightly painted broad collar over a white shroud. In each hand, he holds a hoe, and a water jar is slung over his shoulder. 6 horizontal bands of hieroglyphic text on a yellow background surround the lower half of the body. They contain the shawabty spell from Chapter 6 of the Book of the Dead, and identify the owner of the shawabty as a man named Huy.

    Multimedia

  • Coffin with grain mummy

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Coffin with grain mummy

    330 B.C.–30 B.C.

    Dimensions

    height x width x depth of coffin: 53 x 23 x 13 cm (20 7/8 x 9 1/16 x 5 1/8 in.) height x width x depth of corn mummy: 40.6 x 11.4 x 6.4 cm (16 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Wood, paint, linen, wax, clay, and barley

    Classification

    Tomb equipment

    Accession Number

    2006.1249

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Wooden coffin in the form of a mummified falcon containing a grain mummy in the form of Osiris made of clay, barley, and wax.

    Multimedia

  • Mummy of a cat

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Mummy of a cat

    664–30 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width: 52 x 14.5 cm (20 1/2 x 5 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Linen, organic remains

    Classification

    Organic remains

    Accession Number

    72.4903

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Seated Sekhmet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Seated Sekhmet

    1390–1352 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 126.6 x 53.3 x 66.7 cm (49 13/16 x 21 x 26 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Granodiorite

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    75.7

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian Colossal Gallery (Sculpture) - 209 More Info

    Description

    Sekhmet with the head of a lioness seated on square seat, holding ankh in left hand. Inscription of Amenhotep III.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Bes

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Bes

    664–525 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Other: 2.4 x 1.8 cm (15/16 x 11/16 in.)

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    87.616

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Dull green, glaze worn off; hole in upper part. 87.614-87.624 a set

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Isis and Horus

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Isis and Horus

    Dimensions

    .023 H.

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    87.620

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Dull blue-green glaze, worn off; Isis wears high lotus crown. 87.614-87.624 a set

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Re-Horakhty as a falcon

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Re-Horakhty as a falcon

    664–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length: 1.9 cm (3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    87.621

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This green glazed faience amulet represents the solar god Re-Horakhty as a falcon with the sun's disk above his head. Because Re-Horakhty was associated with the rising sun, amulets of him were believed to assist the wearer with rebirth each day in the afterlife. There is a ring on the back for suspension. This amulet was part of a set that nicluded 87.614 through 87.624.

    Multimedia

  • Lizard coffin

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Lizard coffin

    Dimensions

    Overall: 4.8 x 1.5 cm (1 7/8 x 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Bronze

    Classification

    Religious and cult objects

    Accession Number

    86.266

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Bronze; corroded; one end broken open; lizard on top. From Naucratis.

    Multimedia

  • Kitten mummy

    Slide Notes

    Details

    mummy of a kitten

    305–30 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 23.5 cm (9 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Linen, faunal remains

    Classification

    Organic remains

    Accession Number

    72.4914

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This mummified kitten is wrapped in linen bandages arranged in a geometrical pattern front side consisting rectangular panes. Remains of one applied linen eye are evident, while linen drawn up at top represents ears. A stitch has been added to represent a mouth. The ears and chin are badly tattered. Otherwise the mummy is in stable, intact condition.

    Multimedia

  • Figurine of a bound captive

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Figurine of a bound captive

    760–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 6.1 cm (2 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Limestone

    Classification

    Religious and cult objects

    Accession Number

    87.812

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This small limestone figurine depicts a bound male captive wearing a peaked cap. His legs are bent back at the knees and tied to his arms, which are also pulled fully behind him at the shoulders. The modeling of the figure is crude.

    Multimedia

  • Canopic jar and lid inscribed for...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Canopic jar and lid inscribed for Nitocris

    688–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Set range: Height: 31-43 cm (12 3/16-16 15/16 in.); Diameter: 13-16 cm. (5 1/8-6 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Canopics and Canopic Boxes

    Accession Number

    72.582a-b

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This canopic jar and lid in the shape of human head are carved of travertine (Egyptian alabaster). The head likely represents one of the Four Sons of Horus, protectors of the viscera of the deceased. The jar is inscribed with columns of hieroglyphic text for a woman named Nitocris. It is one of a set of four (with 72.583a-b to 72.585a-b), two of which contain portions of original contents.

    Multimedia

  • Shawabty

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Shawabty

    664–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 14.5 cm (5 11/16 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Shawabtys and Shawabty Boxes

    Accession Number

    72.474

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This mummiform shawabty of faience with a greenish white glaze is in the classic Late Period form, characterized by a tripartite wig, long false beard, back pillar and rectangular base. The hands are crossed and opposed, with the left holding a large hoe and a cord to a small seed bag slung over the back fo the left shoulder and the right holding a pick. The tripartite wig has incised lines denoting tresses and the beard is plaited. An inscription is carried on the front in a band of hieroglyphic text that reads: "Osiris, the prophet Hor-sa ..., son of Neb-wadjet ..." (Wsir Hm-nTr Hr- sA (?)- ... ms n nb-wDAt ...). An ancient Egyptian shawabty is a funerary figurine that was intended to magically animate in the Afterlife in order to act as a proxy for the deceased when called upon to tend to field labor or other tasks. This expressed purpose was sometimes written on the shawabty itself in the form of a "Shawabty Spell," of which versions of various length are known. Shorter shawabty inscriptions could also just identify the deceased by name and, when applicable, title(s). However, many shawabtys carry no text at all. The ideal number of such figurines to include in a tomb or burial seems to have varied during different time periods.

    Multimedia

  • Shawabty

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Shawabty

    1550–1070 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 16.1 x 6.3 x 4.4 cm (6 5/16 x 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Stone

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Shawabtys and Shawabty Boxes

    Accession Number

    72.754

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Deep red flesh, black wig; white priming on body; horizontal bands of hieroglyphs on body; crossed arms; stone hidden by coating of paint.

    Multimedia

  • Scarab pectoral

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Heart scarab pectoral

    Dimensions

    Legacy dimension: .076 H. .098 W. .095 TH.

    Medium

    Stone

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Mummy Trappings

    Accession Number

    72.771

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Dark grayish-green stone; human faced scarab in center, with a pair of human arms; Horus-head and uraeus on each side; border of tassels; incised hieroglyphics on reverse.

    Multimedia

  • Funerary scarab

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Funerary scarab

    760–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Length x width: 5.7 x 3.8 cm (2 1/4 x 1 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Mummy Trappings

    Accession Number

    72.1068

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This faience funerary scarab retains very slight traces of blue glaze, though much of the original finish has worn away. It has a smooth back with wide incised lines to define body, head, and wing components very generally. The base is flat and undecorated. It is pierced twice in each side for attachment to mummy wrappings and/or attachment of additional components in the shape of wings. It is in heavily worn condition. In ancient Egyptian funerary religion, the winged scarab was an image closely associated with the sun-god and a popular symbol of protection and rebirth.

    Multimedia

  • Ankh-sign

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Ankh-sign

    664–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 7.6 x 14.9 cm (3 x 5 7/8 in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Mummy Trappings

    Accession Number

    72.4289

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    From a coffin or cartonnage. Would have been held in a hand. Ornamented with bands of dull red and green; much defaced and slightly glazed; broken and mended.

    Multimedia

  • Face from mummiform coffin

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Face from mummiform coffin

    1070–660 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 18.4 x 16.7cm (7 1/4 x 6 9/16in.)

    Medium

    Wood

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Coffins, Sarcophagi

    Accession Number

    72.4775

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Face painted yellow; eyes white; details in greenish-black; elaborate headdress in yellow, greenish-black and red; much chipped.

    Multimedia

  • Scarab

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Scarab

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 3.8 x 2.9 cm (1 1/2 x 1 1/8 in.)

    Medium

    Pottery

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Scarabs and Scaraboids

    Accession Number

    85.538

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Pale green, red and gray clay, unglazed.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Khnum or Harsaphes (...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Khnum or Harsaphes (Heryshef)

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height 6.4 cm (2 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.536

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This amulet of pale gray glazed faience depicts a ram-headed male deity standing and walking forward. Egypt had multiple ram gods and it is often difficult to identify which one is intended. This god may be Khnum, the patron deity of Elephantine (modern Aswan) or Harsaphes, the patron of Heracleopolis. In either case, amulets of this type were placed in burials to assist the rebirth of the deceased in the afterlife. There is a hole at the back for suspension. The amulet comprises a set including 85.533-85.537.

    Multimedia

  • Eye of Horus (wedjat) amulet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Eye of Horus (wedjat) amulet

    688–664 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 3.5 x 3.9 cm (1 3/8 x 1 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    87.617

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Faience amulet with blue-green glaze in the shape of the Eye of Horus (wedjat), openwork withing rectangular frame. Eyebrow and pupil painted black; incised detailing especially in eye proper and eyelash. The wedjat-eye was considered a potent symbol of protection and was one of the most frequently used forms for ancient Egyptian amulets of most time periods, in particular for amulets placed upon mummies. Comprises as set with: 87.614-87.616, 87.618-87.624.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Thoth

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Thoth

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 7.4 cm (2 15/16 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.534

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    As the god of scribes, Thoth played a vital role in the weighing of the heart after death, and therefore he became a popular subject forfunerary amulets. He is typically shown as a standing man in a short kilt, with the head of an ibis. This amulet, which forms a set with objects 85.533, 85.535, 85.536 and 85.537, is made of faience with dull black glaze. The front of the pedestal is broken. The back pillar is pierced with a hole for suspension.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of a uraeus cobra

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of a uraeus cobra

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 4.2 cm (1 5/8 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.542

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Amulet of faience with traces of purplish-green glaze in the shape of a rearing uraeus cobra on a base. Modeled facial details and incised lines for scales along the hood. Ring fashioned at top for suspension.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Taweret

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Taweret

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Other: 3.3 cm (1 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.544

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Purplish green, slight glaze. Hippopotamus-headed, hole in back.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of crown of Lower Egypt

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of crown of Lower Egypt

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Other: 4 cm (1 9/16 in.)

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.547

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Pale purplish gray-green, no glaze hole in upper part. "Very rare."

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Shu

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Shu

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 1.7 cm (11/16 in.)

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.555

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    During the Late Period, amulets of the god of air, Shu, were often placed in the mummy wrappings on the torso of the deceased. He is shown kneeling, with his arms raised to support the heavens and the solar disc above his head. This example is made of white faience.

    Multimedia

  • Eye of Horus (wedjat) amulet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Eye of Horus (wedjat) amulet

    380–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Other: 2.1 x 1.6 cm (13/16 x 5/8 in.)

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    85.558

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Pale green glaze.

    Multimedia

  • Statuette of Sekhmet

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Statuette of Sekhmet

    664–332 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 26 x 5.5 x 4 cm (10 1/4 x 2 3/16 x 1 9/16 in.)

    Medium

    Bronze

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    86.246

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Triad of Osiris, Isis and...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Triad of Osiris, Isis and Harpokrates

    760–30 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 7.2 cm (2 13/16 in.)

    Medium

    Bronze

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    86.261

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    The funerary god Osiris stands in the center of this triad, flanked by his wife, Isis on the right and his son Harpokrates (Horus the child) on the left.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of Taweret

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of Taweret

    688–525 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 3.1 cm (1 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    87.615

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Amulet of blue-green glazed faience, now heavily worn. Full-length, standing/striding figure of the minor goddess Taweret on a base. Taweret is a deity primarily known as a protector of mothers and children, particularly during childbirth. The amulet depicts her characteristic form: head and body of a (likely pregnant) hippo, pendulous breasts, leonine paws, and crocodile tail (which acts like a back pillar in this piece). Ring fashioned at back for suspension. Comprises as set with: 87.614, 87.616-87.624.

    Multimedia

  • Statuette of Bes

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Statuette of Bes

    30 B.C.–A.D. 364

    Dimensions

    Height x width: 25.2 x 11 cm (9 15/16 x 4 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Pottery (terracotta); mold-made

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    86.779

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This statuette of squatting god Bes is mold-made of light red clay. He is wearing an animal skin and his characteristic plumed headdress (mostly missing). The ankles & feet are missing. The figurine is hollow with a firing hole in the center of the back.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of a falcon

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of a falcon

    332–30 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 3.3 cm (1 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    86.811

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This amulet of gray-white clay or faience has lost virtually all its glaze. Ir representas a falcon standing on base, probablyto be associated with the god Horus. There is a ring fashioned on its back for suspension.

    Multimedia

  • Game pieces

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Game pieces

    1539–1458 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Conical pieces-height: 2.3 cm-2.8 cm Spool-shaped pieces-height: 1.3 cm-1.6 cm

    Medium

    Faïence and wood

    Classification

    Tools & equipment, Recreational

    Accession Number

    11.3097a-k

    Collections
    The Ancient World
    On View
    Egyptian New Kingdom Gallery - 210 More Info

    Description

    Game pieces, seven of conical shape with ball tops and four of spool type, for Senet.

    Multimedia

Pages