Monday, June 04, 2012

Texts in translation #5: An ostracon showing Amun-Re as a ram (Acc. no. 9658)

Egypt at the Manchester Museum (Campbell Price)

A small but fascinating piece.

I recently received an enquiry about the short inscription on this pottery sherd – or ostracon. The piece comes from the collection of Mr George Spiegelberg, a merchant in Manchester and brother of the famous German Egyptologist Wilhelm Spiegelberg (1870-1930). The ostracon shows the head of a ram deity with a rearing cobra before it, sketched first in red and then gone over in black.

The vertical caption reads: Beloved of Amun-Re, Lord of the Sky, Great God.
The text above the ram’s head reads: Amun-Re, the Light of Day.

The provenance of the sherd is most likely to be the New Kingdom (c. 1550-1069 BC) village of Deir el-Medina, built to house the workers involved in the construction of tombs in and around the Valley of the Kings. 

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