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MFA for Educators

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

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  • Amulet of white crown of Upper...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of white crown of Upper Egypt

    Dimensions

    Overall: 1.3 x 3.2 cm (1/2 x 1 1/4 in.)

    Medium

    Stone

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    72.1249

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This amulet of the white crown of upper Egypt is made of chalky white stone with no polish. The surface is specked with brown. There is a ring on the back. It is in good condition.

    Multimedia

  • Head of Hatshepsut as sphinx

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Head of Hatshepsut as sphinx

    1473–1458 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height: 10.3 cm (4 1/16 in.)

    Medium

    Quartzite

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    52.349

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

    Description

    Head likely from a sphinx with features of Queen Hatshepsut wearing the nemes cloth/crown and false beard, both partially preserved; nose and right eye battered.

    Multimedia

  • Back side panel of the outer...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Back side panel of the outer coffin of Djehutynakht

    2010–1961 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 115 x 262 x 16 cm (45 1/4 x 103 1/8 x 6 5/16 in.)

    Medium

    Cedar

    Classification

    Tomb equipment, Coffins, Sarcophagi

    Accession Number

    20.1823

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

    Description

    Interior side panel from the outer coffin of the provincial ruler Djehutynakht (coffin 4), composed of massive cedar boards and painted with exquisitely detailed funerary images. Along the top is a frieze of objects for Djehutynakht's use in the afterlife. Below, in vertical columns of cursive hieroglyphs, are spells from the Coffin Texts, offering protection and guidance to Djehutynakht in his transition to the afterlife.

    Multimedia

  • Temple gateway

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Temple gateway

    170–116 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Height x width x depth: 544 x 458 x 378 cm (214 3/16 x 180 5/16 x 148 13/16 in.) Typical block: H. 18 7/8 (H. 48cm)

    Medium

    Painted sandstone

    Classification

    Architectural elements

    Accession Number

    24.1632

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

    Description

    One of the most colorful figures in Ptolemaic history was Ptolemy VIII, known familiarly as Physkon, “Fatso.” He married both his sister, Cleopatra II, and her daughter, Cleopatra III, an arrangement that did not foster family harmony. He scandalized the Romans by his ostentatious display (extravagance entirely becoming in a god-king) and alienated the Alexandrians by his harsh treatment of the city’s Jews and intellectuals. But he favored the Egyptian priesthood and the temples during his long rule, commissioning building activity at fifteen sites from the Delta to Nubia. The ancient town of Koptos lay at the entrance to the main land route across the Eastern Desert to the Red Sea ports and thence to India, a trade much encouraged by Ptolemy VIII, and reason enough for his patronage. There, Ptolemy VIII erected a small temple gateway, which would have stood in a mudbrick enclosure wall of a temple. The gateway was still standing in the reign of Nero, when the emperor added his name to it. Sometime later it was dismantled and reused in a Roman bastion tower of the third or early fourth century A.D. In 1923 the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition excavated twenty-four blocks belonging to this gateway, consisting of the upper part of the right jamb and the façade of the left jamb, approximately one-fourth of the complete structure. Enough remained for scholars to estimate the original height and design, and in 1996 the gateway was reconstructed in the Museum. Presumably the rest is still at Koptos awaiting rediscovery. The two scenes illustrated here come from the right façade. In the upper register, Ptolemy, looking every inch a pharaoh with his Double Crown and bull’s tail, stands before Min and Isis, the chief gods of Koptos. In his right hand he holds a sphinx with an unguent vessel between its paws, representing the gift of myrrh specified in the hieroglyphic inscription. In the register below, the king stands before Harpokrates and Isis again. The king wears an elaborate headdress — the Blue Crown surmounted by ram’s horns, a sun disk, ostrich plumes, and solar uraei. Harpokrates has the plump body of a child, with doughnut-shaped navel, and the sidelock of youth. Isis appears as usual with vulture headdress, cow’s horns, and sun disk. Her figure is fleshy and voluptuous in the Ptolemaic manner. In return for a platter full of food, the gods grant the king “every good thing every day” and “all offerings and provisions,” according to the inscription.

    Multimedia

  • Amulet of a crown of Lower Egypt (...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Amulet of a crown of Lower Egypt (Tesher)

    Dimensions

    Height: 1.9 cm (3/4 in.)

    Medium

    Faience

    Classification

    Jewelry / Adornment, Amulets

    Accession Number

    72.2486

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Faience; green-blue; slight glaze; same on both sides; ring on 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

  • Embroidered and painted picture,...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Embroidered and painted picture, Moses Rescued by Pharaoh's Daughter

    early 19th century

    Dimensions

    28.8 x 34.3 cm (11 5/16 x 13 1/2 in.)

    Medium

    Silk, pigment, metal threads, pearls?; embroidery

    Classification

    Textiles

    Accession Number

    50.4005

    Collections
    Textiles and Fashion Arts More Info

    Description

    Worked on satin ground (originally white), but now painted blue at top shaded to brownish yellow at horizon line, faces and arms and feet of three female figures and upper body and head of infant painted, rest of landscape including foreground, grass, pillars, trees, and palms, and pyramids in background embroidered in long and short, couching, stem, and split stitches with polychrome silks and green chenille; several stains including ink stain, several scratched places.

    Multimedia

  • The pyramid of Khufu at Giza,...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    The pyramid of Khufu at Giza, looking northeast

    about 1870

    Adolphe Braun, French, 1812–1877

    Dimensions

    25 x 19.7 cm (9 13/16 x 7 3/4 in.)

    Classification

    Photographs / Prints

    Accession Number

    2001.461

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • The pyramid of Khufu at Giza,...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    The pyramid of Khufu at Giza, looking northeast

    about 1870

    Adolphe Braun, French, 1812–1877

    Dimensions

    25 x 19.7 cm (9 13/16 x 7 3/4 in.)

    Classification

    Photographs / Prints

    Accession Number

    2001.461

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    Multimedia

  • Relief fragment from queen's...

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Relief fragment from queen's pyramid chapel

    2625–2500 B.C.

    Dimensions

    Overall: 3 x 6 cm (1 3/16 x 2 3/8 in.)

    Medium

    Limestone

    Classification

    Architectural elements, Relief

    Accession Number

    27.1126.12

    Collections
    The Ancient World More Info

    Description

    This fragment of low relief consists of the portion of the rear steering oar paddle that is above water, it joins the oar in 27.1126.1. Overall this scene depicts a boat manned by several fragmentary rowers. There are also two standing men at the stern operating steering oars and one man standing on the prow directing the rowers.

    Multimedia

  • Statue fragment of Hatshepsut

    Slide Notes

    Details

    Statue fragment of Hatshepsut

    1550–1458

    Medium

    Quartz diorite

    Classification

    Sculpture

    Accession Number

    52.347

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

    Description

    Fragment of stone statue with head and upper torso remaining of a young Queen Hatsheptsut; slightly battered uraeus cobra on forehead; likely shows Hatshepsut prior to assuming the kingship of Egypt; likely originally from a standing pair statue; possibly inspired by Middle Kingdom sculptural models.

    Multimedia