Saturday, February 04, 2012

Object Biography #2: A label of King Djer (Acc. no. 6763a)

Manchester Museum (Campbell Price)

A really good piece, putting the label into its Abydos context. With photos and illustrations.

This small (1.8 x 1.9 cm) piece of incised bone doesn’t look like much, but it comes from one of Pharaonic Egypt’s most hallowed places. The Umm el-Qaab (Arabic for ‘Mother of Pots’) area of Abydos was the burial place of the first kings of Egypt. Abydos was sacred to later Egyptians as the cult centre of the Osiris, the god of the dead and of rebirth. Many hoped to make a pilgrimage to the site and those that did left offerings, evidenced by millions of pottery vessels – giving the area its modern Arabic name.

From as early as the Middle Kingdom (c. 2055-1650 BC), one of the early royal tombs was believed to be the actual burial place of Osiris.

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