As the exhibition demonstrates, the lives of the lower classes can be more interesting and insightful than the dazzling opulence of the privileged few.
“Typically upper-class material is shown at Egyptian exhibits,” said curator Edward Bleiberg. “Showing [burial] objects from the lower classes is a way for us to connect to the ancient Egyptians. Their problems are the same as ours: ‘How am I going to the pay the bills for this?’ ”
Indeed, then, as now, everyone wanted to be comfortable in the hereafter.
That explains one choice piece in the show: a sarcophagus for a commoner made from cheap clay and painted yellow to imitate the gold that would line a royal coffin, a desperate attempt to impress the gods.
As the exhibit shows, Egyptians from pharaoh to plebeian were keen to pimp their coffins in a variety of creative ways, even if it meant defiling someone else’s.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Exhibition: To Live Forever
New York Post (Stephen Brown)