Thursday, February 08, 2007

More on the lintel from the Temple of Mut, Karnak

"The museum's ongoing expedition to the Temple Precinct of the Goddess Mut at South Karnak discovered a painted and gilded lintel that had originally topped the doorway of a religious structure. 'Some of the significance of the lintel is the quality of its carving and its gilding,' the director of the museum's excavation of the site, archaeologist Richard Fazzini, said in a press release. 'A small number of ancient Egyptian reliefs were gilded, but that adornment has seldom survived. Equally important is the unusual nature of its iconography, which has its origins in the early first millennium B.C. but which is here dated to the Ptolemaic Period or early Roman Period (late fourth to late first century B.C.) by the inscriptions.' . . . . It was moved to the Luxor Museum of Ancient Egyptian Art, where it will be displayed." (
"The child gods of ancient Egypt are depicted in a surprisingly real-world way on a stunningly well-preserved, gilded beam recently found at the Temple Precinct of the Goddess Mut in South Karnak, Egypt. The structure once crowned the doorway of a birthing house inside the temple more than 2,000 years ago. Rituals associated with royal childbirths — perhaps even including 'honeymoon nights' — likely took place there. The beam is significant because of 'the quality of its carving and its gilding,' said Brooklyn Museum archaeologist Richard Fazzini, who is leading the excavation, in a press release."
This piece is accompanied by a photograph of the lintel.
This links to the best photograph that I have seen to date, clearly showing both gilding and colour.

There's a lovely aerial shot of the Temple of Mut at the following page:

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