Friday, June 24, 2016

30 Ancient Egyptian Engravings - With footnotes - 5 -

An Egyptian painted wood shabti for Lady Huy with an anthropoid coffin 
New Kingdom, 18th-19th Dynasty, circa 1550-1196 B.C.

The shabti in typical mummiform posture, holding two hoes, wearing a striped tripartite wig and broad collar, the face finely rendered with painted features, the legs with six rows of hieroglyphs for the 'Lady of the house Huy, justified' with the standard shabti text from the Book of the Dead, the wood coffin possibly usurped, with four horizontal bands around the lid and base, a column of hieroglyphic text down the front of the lid with an offering formula to Osiris 'Lord of Abydos', some black and white pigment remaining, the foot of the lid with '112' painted in red, 21.3cm long.

An Egyptian limestone anthropoid ancestor bust 
New Kingdom, 18th-20th Dynasty, circa 1550-1070 B.C.

Wearing a tripartite wig with traces of paint remaining, the mound shape bust terminating beneath the schematic elbows, the wide face with plump cheeks and prominent chin, the large eyes with delineated lids, cosmetic lines and brows, the large ears pierced, an incised broad collar between the lappets with three bands of beads, an incised decorative band encircling the bust around the shoulders with a lotus-like motif above at each shoulder, an incised figural scene and hieroglyphic text on the chest, including a standing male offering figure on the right wearing a short wig and plain kilt, a central column of text beneath the broad collar inscribed with the beginning of the hetep-di-nesw offering formula: 'An offering which the king gives to Osiris', '95.1' in red ink on the reverse, 26cm high

The tripartite wig, as the name suggested, was divided into three parts. Two extended behind the ears and down the sides of the face and the front of the body as far as the breasts. A third part went down the back as far as the shoulder blades. More

An Egyptian feldspar (crystal) and silver falcon amulet 
New Kingdom, circa 1550-1070 B.C.
Probably a depiction of Horus, with delineated wings and face, wearing a silver double crown with suspension loop behind, 2cm high

Horus is one of the most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egypt specialists. These various forms may possibly be different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner or peregrine, or as a man with a falcon head. More

Meretseger, Goddess of tomb builders and Protector of Royal Tombs
An Egyptian carnelian amulet of Meretseger 
New Kingdom, circa 1550-1070 B.C.
The flat-backed cobra goddess with sinuous body, wearing a wig and short crown
3.2cm long

In Egyptian mythology, Meretseger, meaning "she who loves silence" exerted great authority during the New Kingdom era over the Theban Necropolis and was considered to be both a dangerous and merciful goddess. She was closely connected with al-Qurn, the pyramid-shaped peak in the Valley of the Kings. As a cobra-goddess she is sometimes associated with Hathor.

She was the patron deity of the workers in Deir el-Medina who built the tombs. She punished workers who committed crimes, but healed those who repented. In one instance Meretseger is petitioned to bring relief to one in pain. She answer the prayer by bringing "sweet breezes".

As a cobra, she spat poison at anyone who tried to vandalise or rob the royal tombs. In art she was portrayed as either a coiled cobra, or as a woman-headed cobra, or rarely as a triple headed cobra, where one head was that of a cobra, one of a woman, and one of a vulture.

Her close association with the Valley of the Kings prevented her becoming anything more than a local deity, and when the valley ceased being in use, so she also ceased being worshipped. More

Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth
A large Egyptian green glazed composition Taueret magical vessel 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.

The pregnant hippopotamus goddess with striped tripartite wig, the large snout with slightly open jaws, depicted standing with her right hand holding her right breast, a hole in the nipple forming the vessel spout, the large circular filler hole in the top of the head, a stylised ankh at her legs, '1947.344' inked in red and black, 20cm

Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth
Date 3rd century BC (Greco-Roman)
Red jasper
Height: 3.45 cm (1.4 in). Width: 1.05 cm (0.4 in). Depth: 1.12 cm (0.4 in).
Walters Art Museum

In Egyptian mythology, Taweret is the protective ancient Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility. The name "Taweret" means, "she who is great" or simply, "great one," a common pacificatory address to dangerous deities. The deity is typically depicted as a bipedal female hippopotamus with feline attributes, pendulous female human breasts, and the back of a Nile crocodile. She commonly bears the epithets "Lady of Heaven," "Mistress of the Horizon," "She Who Removes Water," "Mistress of Pure Water," and "Lady of the Birth House." 

An Egyptian amethyst amulet of Taueret 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
3.4cm high

The pregnant hippopotamus goddess standing with her hands cradling her stomach, the details of her facial features incised, on an integral base with suspension loop at the back

Female hippopotami were revered as manifestations of apotropaic deities, as they studiously protect their young from harm. Protective amulets bearing the likenesses of female hippopotami have been found dating as far back the Predynastic period (ca. 3000–2686 BCE). The tradition of making and wearing these amulets continued throughout Egyptian history into the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (ca. 332 BCE – 390 CE). More

Goddess of Fertility and Childbirth

Taweret is the name of a goddess who is depicted as a standing upright pregnant hippopotamus with a crocodile back and tail, lion paws, and in most cases human arms. This figure is large for an amulet and displays the goddess wearing a long wig and modius (calathos) with uraei (cobra serpents) on her head. While the standard posture of Taweret is with her arms hanging down beside her body, this figure shows her right arm resting on her belly.

An Egyptian pale green glazed composition baboon 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
10.7cm high

Depicted standing with the left leg advanced, holding an oval offering dish in its hands, the tail falling at the back of the legs, set on a small integral plinth.

Though many of these animals were considered to be a vessel that could be inhabited by the gods, and must have been given considerable care, investigations into the animal necropolises of Saqqara and particularly Tuna el-Gebel have revealed that their life expectancy in Egypt was very limited. Unfavorable living conditions resulted in undernourishment and the lack of freedom of movement and sunlight led to rickets, degenerative bone diseases and probably tuberculosis. While the knowledge of the ancient Egyptians may even today be impressive to us, they seem to have lacked the ability to provide the proper care for these animals.

An Egyptian limestone baboon, Thoth
New Kingdom, circa 1550-1065 B.C.
6.3cm high

Carved in the round, depicting the god Thoth, seated on a plinth, his tail curling around the right side, with hands on the knees, with incised lines for the thick fur around its upper body, the long muzzle with small eyes, a pierced hole to the top of the head for a headdress, now missing, pierced horizontally through the torso, 

Beyond religious uses, monkeys were also certainly kept as pets in the houses of the upper class, though they were unlikely to have been allowed to roam the house, despite the depiction of green monkeys, as well as cats, geese and ducks, under the chair of the wife of a tomb owner. Green monkeys are actually dangerous animals, and they must have been kept firmly on leashes, as they are usually depicted in tribute scenes. More

Thoth was one of the deities of the Egyptian pantheon. In art, he was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. His feminine counterpart was Seshat, and his wife was Ma'at.

Thoth played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead. More

Egyptian terracotta, Bes 
Roman Period, circa 1st Century A.D.
12.7cm high

The god depicted nude as a warrior, a circular shield in his left hand, his right arm raised holding a sword, wearing a tall plumed crown.

Bes is an Ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as a protector of households, and in particular, of mothers and children and childbirth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad. While past studies identified Bes as a Middle Kingdom import from Nubia, more recent research indicates that he was present in Egypt since the start of Old Kingdom. Mentions of Bes can be traced to pre-dynastic Nile Valley cultures; however his cult did not become widespread until the beginning of the New Kingdom. More

An Egyptian limestone stele for Tutu 
Late Ptolemaic - Roman Period, circa 100 B.C.-100 A.D.
27cm x 19.5cm

Sculpted in relief in the form of a naos with a cavetto cornice surmounted with a row of twenty-four stylised uraei supported by two columns at either end, with the god Tutu depicted as a sphinx walking to the right, the lean and elongated body with the ribs protruding, the head turned to face outwards, surrounded by a thick mane-like wig with a tni crown of rams horns and plumes, the curling tail terminating with a cobra head, a knife in each paw, a winged solar disc with cobra above.

Bes stele 
Roman Period, circa 1st-2nd Century A.D.
Egyptian limestone
20.3cm high

Carved in relief, depicting the god standing frontally, nude wearing a plumed crown, a knife raised in his right hand, a serpent in his lowered left, a sinuous cobra, possibly Meretseger, to his right, some pigment remaining, 

Tutu was an Egyptian god worshipped by ordinary people all over Egypt during the late period. The only known temple dedicated to Tutu is located in ancient Kellis, but reliefs depicting Tutu are seen in other temples, such as the Temple of Kalabsha. Tutu's title at the Shenhur temple was "Who comes to the one calling him". Other titles of Tutu are "Son of Neith," "the Lion," "Great of Strength", and "Master of the demons of Sekhmet and the wandering demons of Bastet".

A relief depicting the god Tutu, a protector of soldiers. 
He wears the nemes headdress of a king, has a human face, the body of a lion, the tail of a cobra and he stomps on arrows. More

His iconography is hybrid consisting of the body of a striding, winged lion, the head of a human, other heads of hawks and crocodiles projecting from the body, and the tail of a serpent. Tutu was son of Neith, who was considered as a "dangerous goddess". OTutu is placed in a position of power over demons. It was his role to slay demons sent out by "dangerous goddesses". Originally the protector of tombs, Tutu later guarded the sleeping from danger or bad dreams. Tutu was also regarded for ordinary people to worship, offering and rituals were made on portable altars. Offerings included goose, and bread, and rituals were for protection from demons and bad dreams. Tutu was stated to have given protection from demons, giving longer life and protecting people from the Netherworld. More

An Egyptian gypsum figure of Isis and Horus 
Late Period, 26th Dynasty, circa 664-332 B.C.
23cm high

In typical pose seated on a throne, suckling the infant Horus on her lap, her left hand supporting his head, her right clutched to her breast, wearing a full length tunic, tripartite wig with frontal bronze uraeus and a collar of uraei above, pierced for attachment of the headdress now missing, her ears pierced.

Isis is a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt. She was first worshiped in Ancient Egyptian religion, and later her worship spread throughout the Roman Empire and the greater Greco-Roman world. Isis is still widely worshiped by many pagans today in diverse religious contexts.

Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic. She was the friend of slaves, sinners, artisans and the downtrodden, but she also listened to the prayers of the wealthy, maidens, aristocrats and rulers. Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the falcon-headed deity associated with king and kingship. Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.

Mourner. Isis mourning Osiris
Eighteenth dynasty (between circa 1550 and circa 1292 BC)
 Shaped, painted, and polished terra cotta
Height: 24.3 cm (9.6 in). Width: 21.5 cm (8.5 in).
Louvre Museum

The name Isis means "Throne". Her headdress is a throne. As the personification of the throne, she was an important representation of the pharaoh's power. The pharaoh was depicted as her child, who sat on the throne she provided. Her cult was popular throughout Egypt, but her most important temples were at Behbeit El-Hagar in the Nile delta, and, beginning in the reign with Nectanebo I (380–362 BCE), on the island of Philae in Upper Egypt.

Terracotta, Ptolemaic Egypt.
H. 23 cm (9 in.)
Louvre Museum

In the typical form of her myth, Isis was the first daughter of Geb, god of the Earth, and Nut, goddess of the Sky, and she was born on the fourth intercalary day. She married her brother, Osiris, and she conceived Horus with him. Isis was instrumental in the resurrection of Osiris when he was murdered by Set. Using her magical skills, she restored his body to life after having gathered the body parts that had been strewn about the earth by Set. More

Lapis lazuli amulet
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
2.5cm wide

The four-headed ram deity representing the four forms of Banebdjedet of Mendes, Banebdjedet was an Ancient Egyptian ram god with a cult center at Mendes. He is portrayed as a man with four ram heads.

An Egyptian lapis lazuli falcon amulet 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
2cm high

With incised facial features and feather details, standing on an integral base, with a small suspension loop on the back.

The Egyptians wore amulets both as jewelry and as protective devices to avert the many threats they faced in daily existence, such as illness, injury, and attack by an animal. Although the repertoire of amulets increased in scope as time progressed, a considerable variety was available even in the Predynastic era. Animals were favorite subjects. Representations of fierce and dangerous creatures may have been intended to defend against hostile forces or to impart to the wearer their strength, speed, and agility. Some animals, such as cattle and falcons, may already have represented deities, as they would later. More

An Egyptian pale blue glazed composition amulet of Maat 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.

The goddess depicted in typical squatting pose, her arms resting on her thighs beneath her long tunic, wearing a tripartite wig, her feather now broken, a suspension loop behind.

Maat or Ma'at was the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. More

An Egyptian black stone pair statue 
Middle Kingdom, late 12th Dynasty, circa 1800 B.C.
16.5cm high

Depicting a husband and wife, the male figure wearing a short striated wig and long flared skirt, his bent left arm resting across his chest, his right arm hangs by his side with clenched fist, the female figure wears a tripartite striated wig with a broad collar and close fitting dress, both supported by a plain back pillar, their broad feet standing on a rectangular base.

To express the physical and spiritual bond between two individuals, sculptors devised a form called the pair statue. The most common variety showed the subjects—a husband and wife, a mother and child, or a king and a divinity. More

An Egyptian limestone relief 
New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, circa 1320-1200 B.C.
49.4cm x 40.4cm

Possibly from Saqqara, four male figures pulling on a rope, presumably hauling a sledge which would have carried a cult image, apparently Osiris, whose name is inscribed in hieroglyphs at the far top right, the male figure in the middle turned towards the god, burning incense, a longer column of hieroglyphs saying 'making an incense offering', the figure on the far right emptying a vessel in front of the missing sledge.

An Egyptian limestone relief fragment 
Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty, circa 2345-2181 B.C.
30cm high

From a mastaba, carved in sunken relief, depicting a man in profile, wearing a short layered wig with a diadem, with a small beard and a broad collar, his right arm held in front, with hieroglyphic signs above his head including a reed leaf 'i', and a viper sign 'f'.

An Egyptian terracotta 'Hyksos' concubine figure 
Second Intermediate Period, 15th-17th Dynasty, circa 1650-1550 B.C.
17cm high

The nude figure, standing with her incised hands resting on her thighs, modelled with long tapering legs, wearing an applied triple strand collar framing her small breasts, the broad face modelled with incised linear eyes and a short ridged nose, with pierced disc earrings, her coiffure pierced with three holes.

The Hyksos, "ruler(s) of the foreign countries"; were a people of mixed origins from Western Asia, who settled in the eastern Nile Delta, some time before 1650 BC. The arrival of the Hyksos led to the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt and initiated the Second Intermediate Period. In the context of Ancient Egypt, the term "Asiatic" – which is often used of the Hyksos – may refer to any people native to areas east of Egypt. More

An Egyptian limestone relief fragment of Amenhotep I 
New Kingdom, early 18th Dynasty, circa 1500 B.C.
16cm x 18.5cm

Depicting in raised relief, the profile head of the king, the large left eye with extended cosmetic line, wearing the Crown of Lower Egypt with a uraeus, the king receiving 'life' from a deity, through the fragmentary ankh sign which the god is holding under the king's nose.

Amenhotep I was the second Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. His reign is generally dated from 1526 to 1506 BC. He was a son of Ahmose I and Ahmose-Nefertari, but had at least two elder brothers, Ahmose-ankh and Ahmose Sapair, and was not expected to inherit the throne. However, sometime in the eight years between Ahmose I's 17th regnal year and his death, his heir apparent died and Amenhotep became crown prince. He then acceded to the throne and ruled for about 21 years.

He inherited the kingdom formed by his father's military conquests and maintained dominance over Nubia and the Nile Delta but probably did not attempt to maintain Egyptian power in Syrio-Palestine. He continued the rebuilding of temples in Upper Egypt and revolutionized mortuary complex design by separating his tomb from his mortuary temple, setting a trend in royal funerary monuments which would persist throughout the New Kingdom. After his death, he was deified as a patron god of Deir el-Medina. More

Relief of Amenhotep I, from Karnak
New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, c. 1514–1493 BC

An Egyptian bronze figure of Osiris 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
17cm high

The finely cast mummiform deity, standing holding the crook and flail, each with notched decoration, with incised details to the collar, false beard and side-plumes, wearing the atef crown, the integral rectangular base inscribed at the front: 'Words of Osiris: Give life and Health', the name of the donor has not been added.

An Egyptian bronze figure of Osiris 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
14.9cm high

Depicted in typical mummiform posture, his hands emerging from a tightly-wrapped long cloak to hold the crook and flail, with incised detail of a heart amulet on a string suspended from his hands.

An Egyptian bronze figure of Osiris 
Late Period, circa 664-332 B.C.
9cm high

The seated mummiform deity, with eyes recessed for inlays, with incised details on the atef crown side plumes, false beard and crook and flail, a suspension loop at the back of the neck.

Osiris was an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead, but more appropriately as the god of transition, resurrection, and regeneration. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. Osiris was at times considered the oldest son of the earth god Geb, though other sources state his father is the sun-god Ra and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. More

Acknowledgement: Bonhams
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