Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo for Today - Walters Art Museum

Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week - I've had technical problems. All sorted now.

I'm talking in Plymouth on October 2nd about the archaeology of the Eastern Desert. If you are a member of PADES and are attending I hope to see you there!

Copyright Rick Menges, with my thanks


(TOP) Relief of People in Boats
Artist: Anonymous (Egyptian)
Date (Period): ca. 2370-2345 BC (Old Kingdom)
Medium: limestone, red pigment
Measurements: 13 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (34.9 x 27.3 cm);
framed: 16 1/2 x 13 x 1 3/8 in. (41.9 x 33 x 3.5 cm)

Item Description
Two partially preserved boating scenes remain on this relief block from a private tomb chapel. The lower scene shows the stern of a large rowing boat with two men each manning a large steering oar. Immediately following the first boat is the prow of a second boat. It is decorated with an animal figurehead (hedgehog). Above is another partially preserved boat showing only the heads of her crew above the railing and the feet of the pilot or look-out.

(BOTTOM) Model of a River Boat
Artist: Anonymous (Egyptian)
Date (Period): ca. 2050 BC (Middle Kingdom)
Medium: wood with cloth and paint
Measurements: 9 7/16 x 3 15/16 x 22 7/16 in. (24 x 10 x 57 cm)

Item Description
Twelve oarsmen, a helmsman, and a pilot, or look-out, ferry their passenger, the tomb-owner. Such models were associated with religious beliefs, as they symbolized the journey of the deceased to Abydos, the traditional burial place of Osiris, lord of the afterworld. The tomb-owner is clothed with a shroud and is shown with a blue beard. This boat was probably placed in the tomb to assist the deceased in navigating the Nile of the underworld. Typically, models of passenger ships found in Middle Kingdom tombs occur in pairs. One to travel south, equipped with a sail, as the wind in Egypt blows constantly from north to south, and the other (as this model shows) propelled by rowers aided by the Nile's current, to travel north.

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