Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo for Today - Bronze statue of Pepi, Cairo

With my thanks to Jon Bodsworth


Pepy I or Merenra
Hierakonpolis (Nekhen)
Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty
Copper, with gold leaf on toenails and eyes inlaid with limestone and obsidian
Cairo Museum

One of a pair of statues dating to the Old Kingdom both were found
in an underground store in the Temple of Horus at Hierakonpolis
(ancient Nekhen) by Quibell in his 1897-1898 season at the site.
Prior to storage the statues had been disassembled, with one placed inside the other.
The larger has been identified with confidence as Pepy I meryre
(3rd king of the 6th Dynasty)
due to the inscription engraved into a copper seal,
but the identity of the better preserved of the two, above,
has been much discussed. One possibility is that the statue
represents a younger version of Pepy I, and another suggestion
is that it represents Pepy I's son Merenra.

There's a PDF report by Guido Heinz into the analysis of the statues using laser scanning and photogrammetry available online on the i3mainz website.

Two statues of Pharaoh Pepi I. are the oldest known life-size metal sculptures in the world. They are dated to about 2300 BC and were excavated in 1897. In 2001, after a several years lasting process of restoration, conservation and technological investigation, the statues were documented geometrically. The shapes of the sculptures were recorded using a 3D laser scanner. Special features like the seams between the copper sheets forming the statue and the rivets connecting them were measured using close range photogrammetry. A model was generated from the scanner data as well as a 3D vector map of the line features from the stereo images. Besides these single results, both were combined for visualization purposes such as video sequences of the rotating sculpture or a combination with reconstructed vanished parts of the statue like the loincloth and the crown.

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