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July 06 2013

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Utterance 251

269: To say the words:
“O you who are set over the hours,
you who go in front of Re,
prepare a way for Unas that Unas may pass through the guard (of demons) with terrible-faces!

(via The Complete Pyramid Texts of King Unas (3) | Hany Yousry)

Reposted byAncientEgyptian AncientEgyptian

June 15 2013

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Qa Hedjet is a king come out from the nothingness of four thousand and six hundred years. Until 1968 this name meant nothing either for the more than 150-year-old field of Egyptology, or for the long tradition of annals and king-lists compiled since the Old Kingdom through the New Kingdom up to the Greek period. Not a piece of tomb-relief, statuette, graffito, or monument had ever handed down this name. It’s always amazing to discover previously unknown kings, especially those of the most mysterious ages of history, as is the Early Dynastic Period.

A stela of unknown provenance bought by the Louvre Museum in 1967 [E 25982], bears the Horus name of this King; it is the only attestation of Qa Hedjet.
The style of the relief and the skillfulness of its lines are the reasons for the widespread convinction that we have to do with a 3rd Dynasty piece [rather than with one of Qa’a (1st Dyn.) or of the First Intermediate Period as has been formerly advanced].
We can easily see the carving evolution in comparison with the Wadi Maghara 3rd Dyn. reliefs; therfore dating it to the half or end of this dynasty for the reign of this king and his stela is justifiable. Another parallel can be drawn with the six panels from the underground galleries of the Step Pyramid complex of Netjerikhet [Djoser/Zoser] at Saqqara (see here, bottom of the page).

The lines of the king’s face (forehead/crown, beard, mouth, but the same goes for the whole body) are a more developed variant of the Sanakht, Netjerikhet and Sekhemkhet reliefs. The general treatment of the body of the Third Dynasty kings is, to a certain degree, somewhat sqattier, heavier, rawer and gives an impression of more stability and authority than Khasekhemwy’s (?) relief from Gebelein (now in Turin and Cairo) which portray a taller and leaner king, more dynamic and whose body details are more equally balanced in comparison with those of the kings up to Snefru, wherein the reliefs show more careful attention to the face/head, leaving the rest of the body at a cruder stage of definition, with fewer decorative particulars.
Possibly Netjerikhet is less extreme in this artistic trend (Khasekhemwy’s influence?); Qa Hedjet produces a shift towards smoother forms more in line with the 4th Dynasty techniques (the sitting Snefru Dahshur stela is the further step of change: see the hands, the whole face profile; but indeed the general conformation and proportions of human shape and of hieroglyphs heavily echoes the Third Dynasty models, and a similar progress is also traceable in the statuary).

The modeling of the Horus’ head in the Louvre stela has no parallel, to my knowledge, in this early period.
On it the king wears a short skirt, the false tail and the Upper Egyptian crown; he bears a pear-headed mace and a reed in his hands and faces an anthropomorphic Horus who has one hand on the king’s shoulder and the other one on his left arm (in a similar posture is the goddess Seshat before Snefru in the Funerary Temple of the Rhomboidal Pyramid of Dahshur, cfr. A. Fakhry ‘The Monuments of Snofru … II. The Valley Temple pt. I’ 1961, fig. 84; Thomas Schneider in S.A.K. 24, 1997 fig. 5.1).
Above the two figures, facing the falcon-topped Serekh with Horus name, there’s another falcon and a short sentence: “Horus in the Hwt ‘Aa” (Great Temple of Heliopolis; see Kahl et al. ‘Die Inschriften der 3. Dynastie’,165 and Fischer, Orientalia 61,143).
The material used is limestone and the figuration is plainly eroded but the lines’ sure touch (Horus’ face, the king’s body, the hieroglyphs) is evident, showing a slight progress compared with the mentioned limestone stela fragment of the Turin Museum from Gebelein (dated to the 2nd-3rd Dyn. see Smith ‘A History of Sculpture and Painting in … 1946).
For the stela of the Louvre: Vandier, in: C.R.A.I.B.L. 1968 p. 16-22; Ziegler ‘Catalogue des stèles, peintures et reliefs égyptiens de l’ Ancien Empire et de la Première Période Intermédiare - Musée du Louvre’ 1990 p. 56; Blumenthal, in: ZAS 130, 2003, 1ff. (excursus p. 25-26).

Lacking the evidence for a Horus name of the predecessor of Qa Hedjet, Neferkara, it could be hypothized that these names belonged to the same sovereign; the few traces they left make it possible that both these kings could have been immediate predecessors of Huni.
Worthy of note is that in the 3rd Dyn. corpus of inscriptions (Kahl et al. 1995, following D. Wildung ‘Die Rolle..’ 1969 p. 101 n.4) ‘Qa Hedjet’ is considered the Horus name of Huni: in fact this latter king’s Horus name has never been found, therfore this could even be correct; but the fortuitous and meagre attestation of these kings’ monuments and names lead us to think that the Third Dynasty sequence could consist, even more than in the Second Dynasty, of various further kings of whom nothing has remained (Nabil Swelim numbers 9 kings in Dynasty 3).
Kahl in ‘S.A.H.’(1994) p. 7-10 had positioned Qa Hedjet after Huni (according to him the dynasty was closed by the mysterious ‘Ba’ whom Helck placed at the end of the First Dynasty after Qa’a and Sneferka).
Peter Kaplony (‘Rollsiegel A.R.’ I Mon. Aeg. 2, 1977 p. 155 n.271) thought this stela (and king) belonged to the Ist Intermediate Period.
Also a middle 4th Dynasty date has been proposed for this stela.

The fact that this name is still unattested at Elephantine could be either a clue that his reign was a very short one or that he was known with the cartouche name of Huni (Njsut Hw) or that of Nebka; it is also possible that he was a known late 3rd Dyn. ruler who changed his Horus name (cf. the unfinished excavation of Zawiyet el-Aryan North with an inscription “Neb-Hedjet”). …

  Via Qa Hedjet / Ka Hedjet / Kaj Hedjet

April 14 2013

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An ancient Egyptian harbor has emerged on the Red Sea coast, dating back about 4,500 years.

“Evidence unearthed at the site shows that it predates by more than 1,000 years any other port structure known in the world,” Pierre Tallet, Egyptologist at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and director of the archaeological mission, told Discovery News.

Built at the time of the Fourth Dynasty King Khufu, [who built] the Great Pyramid of Giza, the port was discovered by a Franco-Egyptian team of archaeologists at Wadi el-Jarf, nearly 110 miles south of the coastal city of Suez.

The site was first explored in 1823 by British pioneer Egyptologist Sir John Garner Wilkinson, who found a system of galleries cut into the bedrock a few miles from the coast. He believed they were catacombs.

“The place was then described by French pilots working on the Suez Gulf during the 1950s, but no one realized that it concealed the remains of an ancient pharaonic harbor,” Tallet said.

Tallet has been excavating the area since 2011 with archaeologist Gregory Marouard, of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, topographer Damien Laisney of the French National Center for Scientific Research, and doctoral students Aurore Ciavatti and Serena Esposito from the Sorbonne University. The team first focused on the most visible part of the site: the galleries described by Wilkinson.

The excavation revealed 30 of these galleries, measuring on average 65 feet long, 10 feet wide and 7 feet high.

Inside the galleries Tallet and his team found several fragments of boats, ropes and pottery dating to the early Fourth Dynasty. Three galleries contained a stock of storage jars, which probably served as water containers for boats.

Underwater exploration at the foot of the jetty revealed 25 pharaonic anchors — and pottery similar to that uncovered in the galleries — all dating from the Fourth Dynasty.

About 200 meters from the sea side, the archaeologists also found the remains of an Old Kingdom building where 99 pharaonic anchors had been stored.

“Some of them were inscribed with hieroglyphs, probably with the names of the boats,” Tallet said.

Most interestingly, the storage galleries also contained hundreds of papyrus fragments.

Among them, 10 were very well preserved.

“They are the oldest papyri ever found,” Tallet said.

Many of the papyri describe how the central administration, under the reign of Khufu, sent food — mainly bread and beer — to the workers involved in the Egyptian expeditions departing from the port.

But one papyrus is much more intriguing: it’s the diary of Merrer, an Old Kingdom official involved in the building of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. [AKA Cheops]

From four different sheets and many fragments, the researchers were able to follow his daily activity for more that three months.

“He mainly reported about his many trips to the Tura limestone quarry to fetch block for the building of the pyramid,” Tallet said.

“Although we will not learn anything new about the construction of Khufu’s monument, this diary provides for the first time an insight on this matter,” Tallet said.

  Via Most Ancient Port, Hieroglyphic Papyri Found : Discovery News

Reposted bywtfpantera wtfpantera

March 18 2013

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Cylinder Seal with the Name of Pepi I

Period: Old Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 6
Date: ca. 2289–2255 B.C.E.
Medium: Steatite
Dimensions: H. 5.3 cm (2 1/16 in)
Reposted bysashthesplash sashthesplash

December 03 2012

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Title/s Faience Wall Tiles

Maker/s Unknown

Category faience tiles

Description Tiles. Faience is crushed quartz with a vitreous (glassy) glaze. These tiles were strung together and plastered onto the walls in the funerary apartment of King Djoser.

Field Collection Saqqara, the Step Pyramid, Egypt

Period Third Dynasty, Reign of Djoser

Date circa 2690 B.C.E. — 2670 B.C.E.

Provenance Gayer-Anderson, R.G. (Major)

(via The Fitzwilliam Museum : Egyptian Galleries - Faience Wall Tiles)

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Djoser was the first king of Dynasty 3 at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. His Step Pyramid and the surrounding mostly solid dummy structures are the earliest preserved stone buildings in Egypt. They represent an attempt to create an eternal royal residence of durable materials for the afterlife.
Tiles mounted between sculpted limestone ledges decorated the walls of the galleries underneath Djoser’s Step Pyramid and underneath a building in his complex called the Southern Tomb. The decoration was meant to imitate the reed matting that covered the walls of his palace.

Period: Old Kingdom
Dynasty: Dynasty 3
Reign: reign of Djoser
Date: ca. 2630–2611 B.C.E.
Geography: Egypt, Memphite Region, Saqqara, Djoser Pyramid precinct
Medium: faience
Dimensions: h. 113 cm (44 1/2 in); w. 73.7 cm (29 in)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, by exchange, 1948
Accession Number: 48.160.1

This artwork is currently on display in Gallery 103

(via The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Wall tiles from the funerary apartments of king Djoser)

November 30 2012

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Lantern Slide Collection: Views, Objects: Egypt. Sakkara [selected images]. View 11: Detail Limestone and Faience molding around relief, Step Pyramid, Sakkara. 3rd Dynasty, n.d. Brooklyn Museum Archives (S10|08 Sakkara, image 9950).

Egypt: Sakkara (by Brooklyn Museum)

Reposted bysiriusminerva siriusminerva

August 19 2012

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The sculpture of the Seated Scribe is one of the most important examples of ancient Egyptian art. It represents a figure of a seated scribe at work. The sculpture was discovered at Saqqara in 1850 and dated to the period of the 4th Dynasty, 2620–2500 BCE. It is currently part of a permanent collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Reposted byAncientEgyptiansiriusminerva

March 26 2011


Late Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt by Francesco Raffaele

Stela of Queen Merneith

Ivory comb with the serekh of King Djet

King Djet's stela

L'il ivory lion

All 1st Dynasty
Reposted byAncientEgyptiansiriusminerva

February 25 2011


Anubis @ Wikimedia Commons

Anubis, King Niuserre, and Wadjet - 5th Dynasty

I finally saw a photograph of this temple wall fragment; it happened to be in a book I just bought. The caption said the eyes were orignally inlaid.

Reposted byAncientEgyptian AncientEgyptian
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