Grand Gilded Sphinx Statue Atop a Egyptian Plinth
Grand Gilded Sphinx Statue atop a Egyptian Plinth

The Spirit of Tutankhamen: Egyptian Oval Mirror Wall Sculpture
The Spirit of Tutankhamen: Egyptian Oval Mirror Wall Sculpture

Egyptian Torch Offering Table Lamp - Set of Two
Egyptian Torch Offering Table Lamp - Set of Two

Temple of Luxor: Grand-Scale Egyptian Urn Statue
Temple of Luxor: Grand-Scale Egyptian Urn Statue

Wings of Isis Egyptian Revival Sculptural ClockTemple of Luxor: Grand-Scale Egyptian Urn Statue

The Pyramid of Senusret I

     Senusret I followed this revival and constructed a pyramid about 1.61 km to the south of Amenemmes I’s complex. The pharaoh Senusret I ruled from about 1971 to 1926 B.C.E., during the Middle Kingdom. He was a strong leader who ruled a stable, unified Egypt. Art, literature, and architecture flourished during his reign.

   Craftspeople thrived under Senusret’s rule. The pharaoh controlled mines loaded with gold, copper, and gems such as purple amethyst. Craftspeople fashioned these materials into beautiful pieces of jewelry. Bracelets and necklaces were often highly detailed. They were then decorated with stones like turquoise.

   Some of the greatest works in Egyptian literature were written during Senusret’s reign. “The Story of Sinuhe” tells of a young official named Sinuhe who overhears a plot to kill the pharaoh. Fearing for his own life, Sinuhe flees Egypt. He thrives in his new land, but he grows very homesick. When a new pharaoh calls him home, Sinuhe returns joyfully. Senusret’s greatest accomplishments were in religious architecture. He built and improved many temples, shrines, and religious monuments.

   Perhaps Senusret’s finest architectural achievement was the White Chapel. (A chapel is a small temple.) It was made of alabaster, a hard white stone. Some historians think the chapel was originally covered in a thin layer of gold.

   Beautiful artwork decorated the chapel’s pillars. Carved scenes showed the pharaoh with various gods. Birds, animals, and Egyptian symbols were also depicted. Senusret wanted his memory to live on through his monuments. But almost none of his buildings survived the passage of time. A later pharaoh took the White Chapel apart and used the pieces in a monument of his own. Archeologists later discovered the pieces and reconstructed the White Chapel.

   Another important find which illustrates a strong association between Egypt, Asia and the Aegean is the El-Tod treasure. This was discovered in 1936, buried in the stone foundations of a temple at El-Tod in Egypt which, the archaeologists believed, was built by King Senusret I of the Middle Kingdom.

The Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten

     Boundary Stella of Akhenaten still survive today bearing testimony to the accurate surveying skills of the Cadastre Scribes, three on the western side of the Nile cut into limestone cliffs along the edge of the cultivation and twelve to the east following the hills that form the desert bay next to the river in the area now known as El-Amarna.

     The Boundary Stella of Akhenaten, shows that both pairs of princesses on each side of this Stella were holding hands, whereas the hand on the present figure's right shoulder indicates that she was joined in embrace with her sister.

     The boundary Stella of Akhenaten describe the founding of the city. The numerous rock tombs, some decorated with papyrus columns, were built hidden in the cliffs to protect them from thieves and flash floods. The famous lyrics of the 'Hymn to the Sun', composed by Akhenaten, is found in each tomb.

     The boundary Stella of Tell el-Amarna were probably carved in the years 6 to 8 of Akhenaten's reign.

Akhenaten Statues

The Amarna Period was centered around the capital city of Amarna and noted for its artistic style, which drastically shifted from conventional styles of art. The human body in the Amarna style is portrayed more realistically, rather than idealistically, though at times depictions border on caricature. Common features are an elongation and narrowing of the neck, a sloping of the forehead and nose, a prominent chin, large ears and lips, spindle-like arms and calves and large thighs, stomachs, and hips.

The decoration of the tombs of non-royals was quite different from previous eras, and clearly worshiped the Aten over other gods and goddesses. Not many buildings from this period have survived the ravages of later kings, partially as they were constructed out of standard-size blocks which were very easy to remove and reuse. Much of what we know of the Amarna period today comes from the discovery of the Amarna Letters: a cache of over 300 tablets recording select diplomatic correspondence of the Pharaoh.

Akhenaten was a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty who is best known for ushering in a
distinctly new art style known as Amarna Art.

Akhenaten Statues:

1- Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their children. This relief illustrates an intimate portrait of
Akhenaten and his family in the Amarna style of art.

2- A relief portrait of Akhenaten. Akhenaten represented in the typical Amarna period style.
New Kingdom, 18th dynasty, circa 1345 B.C.

3- Artist’s sketch: Walk in the Garden; limestone; New Kingdom, 18th dynasty, c. 1335 BC. A relief of a royal couple in the Armana style. The figures are thought to be Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Smenkhkare and Meritaten, or Tutankhamen and Ankhesenamun.

4- Akhenaton, pillar statue from the Temple of Amen-Re, Karnak, Dynasty XVIII, c. 1355-1335 BCE. Sandstone, approx. 13’ high.

He also has all the accoutrements of kingship:

13 feet in height

The cobra crown.

The false beard.

The crook and flail in his hands (the crook has been damaged).

The royal cartouches on his stomach and collar bones.

Senusret III's Canal

     The trade with Ethiopia and Nubia, the region between the First Cataract and the district now known as the sudd region, was on an entirely different basis. A good deal of trade had taken place in predynastic times by means of market to market trading, and this market to market trading continued during the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom. We know of two great markets, Assuan itself (meaning ‘ Market Place ’) and another at the Second Cataract called Iken. But the bulk of the material as far as it was in large quantities must have been transported by water in the protodynastic times. This fact requires an understanding of navigation in the cataract region. During high water (July to October) the cataracts are navigable by ships of moderate size. At the present time the date harvest of Dongola is carried to Wadi Halfa by sailing boats which make two to four trips a season. The difficulty comes in the other eight months, when the water is low and the cataracts are filled with water swirling among the half-exposed rocks.

     The first hint of the opening of a way through the nearest of the cataracts, that at Assuan, is in Dynasty VI. In his autobiography, Weny, a great official of Mernera, relates that His Majesty sent him to Wawat to dig five canals and to construct seven boats for the transportation of granite to Memphis, three cargo boats and four towing boats (manned by rowers). Wawat lies in the granite and sandstone region between the First and the Second Cataract, and there can be little doubt that the five canals were made in the First Cataract itself to permit the passage of these boats loaded with granite for the king’s pyramid. The operation would have consisted in shifting aside a number of boulders at five different places, probably along the western side, to secure quiet passage around the most dangerous places, no great matter for the experienced stone workers who built the pyramids. But we have no knowledge of the size of the canals or as to how long they continued in use.  Weny states that he accomplished the whole business, including the building of the necessary boats, the making of the canals, and the removal of the stones, in one year.

Senusret III

The Pharaoh Senusret III was one of the most emblematic monarchs in Ancient Egypt. At the peak of the Middle Kingdom, his reign (circa 1872-1854 B.C.) marked a turning-point in the history of Ancient Egypt. This strategist and visionary sovereign conquered Nubia (now the Sudan) where he had a network of fortresses built; set the first boundaries of his kingdom and established trade and strong diplomatic relations with his eastern neighbors (now Cyprus, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian Territories). His military expeditions and the setup of a loyal administration meant he could consolidate his power. The Egyptian state was restructured in depth.

These changes were embodied in statuary art: the surviving enigmatic portraits of the Pharaoh show a break with tradition, depicting either stern features, symbolic of wisdom, or an idealized young man. Other artistic output (jewels, objects of everyday life, burial equipment) illustrates regained prosperity and obviously vigorous cultural exchanges with neighboring kingdoms. The public will discover the artistic riches of a key reign, considered to be a golden age of Ancient Egypt.

If this pharaoh doesn't have the fame of Tutankhamen or Ramses II, he is, in the eyes of historians and archaeologists, the pharaoh who in the beginning of the second millennium BC made Egypt into a powerful state, and who remained a model for his successors. Many striking examples of the numerous representations of Senusret III, for the most part statues but also low reliefs, are shown in the exhibition. They reveal the authoritarian, inflexible character of the ruler who could also be merciful and attentive to his people. Providing Egypt with a restructured administration that led to a new social order, he extended the limits of his empire towards the north and the south, leaving traces of his conquests on these territories.

Sculptures of Sensuret III:

Senusret III is known for his strikingly somber sculptures. Senusret III is considered to be perhaps the most powerful Egyptian ruler of the dynasty, and led the kingdom to an era of peace and prosperity. Senusret III is known for his strikingly somber sculptures in which he appears careworn and grave.

While many statues portray him as a vigorous young man, others deviate from this standard and illustrate him as mature and aging. This is often interpreted as a portrayal of the burden of power and kingship. Another important innovation in sculpture during the Middle Kingdom was the block statue, which consisted of a man squatting with his knees drawn up to his chest.

During the Middle Kingdom, relief and portrait sculpture captured subtle, individual details that reached new heights of technical perfection. Some of the finest examples of sculpture during this time was at the height of the empire under Pharaoh Senusret III.

Khakhaure Senusret III (also written as Senwosret III or Sesostris III) ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC, and was the fifth monarch of the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. His military campaigns gave rise to an era of peace and economic prosperity that not only reduced the power of regional rulers, but also led to a revival in craft work, trade, and urban development in the Egyptian kingdom. One of the few kings who were deified and honored with a cult during their own lifetime, he is considered to be perhaps the most powerful Egyptian ruler of the dynasty.

Aside from his accomplishments in architecture and war, Senusret III is known for his strikingly somber sculptures in which he appears careworn and grave. Deviating from the standard way of representing kings, Senusret III and his successor Amenemhat III had themselves portrayed as mature, aging men. This is often interpreted as a portrayal of the burden of power and kingship. That the change in representation was indeed ideological and should not be interpreted as the portrayal of an aging king is shown by the fact that in one single relief, Senusret III was represented as a vigorous young man, following the centuries old tradition, and as a mature aging king.

The White Chapel of Senusret I

The White Chapel of Senusret I:

The White Chapel of Senusret I at Karnak is a good example of the fine quality of art and architecture produced during the 12th Dynasty. Its columns hold reliefs of a very high quality which are hardly seen elsewhere at Karnak.

Tutankhamen Treasures (Part 6)

Tutankhamun on a Funerary Bed: 

The unexpected death of the young pharaoh in 1323 B.C. was mourned throughout Egypt. Except for the busy necropolis workshops, all labor halted and a period of ritual fasting was observed in addition to which the pharaoh’s men stopped shaving until his burial 70 days later, the customary interval required for the mummification process. One such high official was Maya, the overseer of works in the Place of Eternity (the royal necropolis), royal scribe, and overseer of the burial treasury, who appears to have felt some affection for the young pharaoh. In addition to supervising Tutankhamun’s burial preparations in an unfinished and hastily appropriated commoner’s tomb, Maya’s personal sentiments are reflected in his touching funerary gift of this finely carved wooden ushabti figure, utterly unique in form, representing the pharaoh recumbent on a lion-headed bier.

Wishing Cup: 

This stately drinking chalice, carved from a single block of alabaster, represents a blooming white lotus flanked with handles sculpted in the form of blue lilies, each surmounted by a kneeling figure of the god of eternity, Heh, resting on the sign for infinity and holding the hieroglyphic symbols for 100,000 years of life. It was found directly inside the tomb entrance, apparently the last object to be placed by the burial priests (or abandoned by the graverobbers). Called a “wishing cup” by Howard Carter, the chalice is inscribed with the pharaoh’s royal cartouches and bears a blessing engraved in a band around the lip: May your spirit live and may you spend millions of years, you who cherish Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, you eyes gazing upon joy.

Bust of Tutankhamun on a Lotus: 

While Howard Carter was locked out of the tomb by the Egyptian government, an official inventory of its separately stored contents revealed this painted wooden bust of the young pharaoh, undocumented and previously unknown to the authorities, suspiciously concealed inside a small wooden box. Bearing the misleading emblem of the English vintners Fortnum & Mason, it was obviously prepared for shipping. Carter’s embarrassed explanation was that the sculpture had been found in the rubble filling the tomb’s corridor (where it had presumably been abandoned in antiquity the fleeing robbers) along with a number of other objects that were “not yet fully registered.” The portrait faithfully captures Tutankhamun’s elongated platycephalic skull, a common feature among members of the inbred royal family of Amarna. A touching likeness of the young pharaoh, the sculpture represents him as the solar deity emerging from the corolla of the primordial lotus at the moment of creation. As a ritual object it symbolizes his divine rebirth every day with the rising sun.

Tutankhamen Treasures (Part 5)

Lion Funerary Bedhead:

Reminiscent of a royal throne, the first of 3 ritual couches discovered in the Antechamber was flanked by a pair of gilded wooden lions (or cheetahs). Its 2 magnificent bedheads, identically sculpted in leonine form, were elaborately inlaid in blue glass with eyes of painted crystal. The bed was assembled in 4 sections inside the tomb, this ornamental head still bearing the remains of black construction marks on its neck. Standing too high for practical use as a bed and inscribed with the epithet “The Osiris”, the Lion Couch was apparently employed as a ritual bier during the pharaoh’s 70 day process of mummification.

Alabaster Ibex Vase:

This graceful alabaster ibex, inscribed with the pharaoh’s cartouche, bears no magical formulas or spells, no sacred association with a deity, nor any apparent ritual function whatsoever. One of Tutankhamun’s personal possessions, this charming unguent vase reflects the innocent tastes of an adolescent whose fondness for hunting game was typical for his age. Decorated with an inlaid tongue of pained ivory and a single curving horn of genuine ibex, it held a small vase which was wrested from its back by the ancient robbers for its valuable aromatic contents. The first robbery penetrated the Antechamber and its sealed adjoining Annex, which were stripped of their most easily transportable treasure by thieves whose familiarity with the tomb suggested they had probably placed the objects there themselves. Although the necropolis guards re-secured the pharaoh’s tomb, it was soon violated again. Reaching the sealed Burial Chamber and the adjoining Treasury before they were finally caught, the sacrilegious intruders were most likely taken into the desert and impaled on stakes, the traditional penalty for such an offense. Throughout the centuries that followed, the desecration of the other pharaoh’s tombs resulted in the reburial of over 30 royal mummies together in a hidden underground sepulcher by the last rulers of Thebes (around 1000 B.C.) during the 21st Dynasty. Obliterated from memory and buried in the bedrock 13 feet beneath the grand entrance to the tomb of Ramesses VI, Tutankhamun’s humble sanctuary alone was spared for over 3 millennial.

Bes Unguent Vessel:

Inscribed with the royal cartouches of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun, this whimsical alabaster unguent vase, with its inset ivory tongue, is fashioned in the form of the lusty household deity Bes. A divinity of the hearth with no temple of his own, this deformed dwarf spirit was revered in the humblest of homes. The god of marriage and domestic bliss, Bes was often portrayed as a lion. This vase was found in the Annex; its crown, torn off by the tomb robbers, still retained some of its original contents. Standing with one paw resting on the hieroglyph that represents protection, the figure was believed to possess the power to ward off evil influences. Besides the scheming vizier Ay, another treacherous element in the pharaoh’s court was the powerful general Horemheb, whose chief wife was Ay’s daughter Mutnodjme (Nefertiti’s younger sister), claimed the throne. With the help of the Amun priesthood he immediately embarked on a ruthless campaign to deface and usurp all monuments to the gods erected by the Amarnan royal family. Employing the faithful Maya as his overseer of finance, Horemheb (who was to succeeded by Ramesses I) proceeded to sack the tombs of his heretic predecessors with a vengeance, leaving only Tutankhamun’s treasures untouched.

Canopic Caskets:

Made of beaten gold inlaid with cloisonné rishi (or feather patterns), these 4 miniature anthropoid coffins held the mummified internal organs of the pharaoh. Appropriated from leftovers of another burial and refashioned for Tutankhamun’s funeral, the caskets were housed in the alabaster Canopic chest. Magic inscriptions chased on the gold interiors of the coffins revealed cartouches originally representing the names of Ankhkheprure Nefernefruaton (Nefertiti) which had been re-inscribed for Tutankhamun. Another small wooden casket found in the Treasury revealed the sentimental offering of a pleated lock of hair from the pharaoh’s grandmother, Queen Tiye. Nearby, a pair of small coffins of a less ornate design contained the mummies of the 2 stillborn daughters of Ankhesenamun and Tutankhamun, one pitifully deformed by congenital spina bifida and scoliosis. “Had one of those babes lived,” Howard Carter was to speculate, “there might never have been a Ramesses.”.

Canopic Stopper:

In the Treasury, within the golden shrine guarded by the tutelary goddesses, was an alabaster Canopic chest in which the pharaoh’s mummified viscera were stored. Each of its 4 hollows held a miniature gold coffin, containing the embalmed liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines of Tutankhamun. These compartments were topped by detachable alabaster (calcite) stoppers, each in the form of a small bust wearing the pharaoh’s finely modeled portrait, his youthful features delicately highlighted with paint. Although these effigies bear him in a striking resemblance, it has been suggested that they were originally prepared for the burial of an enigmatic Ankhkheprure (or Smenkhkare) which now appears to have been ritual throne names referring to Nefertiti and not another individual.

Golden Leopard Head:

The pharaoh’s ritual vestments included a sacred leopard skin mantle decorated with this ornamental head. Found in the antechamber, the object is fashioned of wood overlaid with gold, with features of inlaid colored glass and eyes of painted quartz. The ornament was worn hanging at the waist with the attached leopard skin over one shoulder whenever the pharaoh was called upon to officiate as high priest of all the gods. A painting on the north wall of the Burial Chamber depicts the aged Ay wearing an identically decorated leopard skin while performing his first act as Tutankhamun’s successor, the ritual restoration of the dead pharaoh’s senses with the symbolic touch of a sharpened adze to the eyes and mouth of the Osirine mummy. Known as “the opening of the mouth,” this ceremony was customarily executed by the dead pharaoh’s son to commemorate the participation of the god Horus in the resurrection of his father Osiris. As the great-grandfather of Tutankhamun’s 2 stillborn children, the “Divine Father” Ay was the young pharaoh’s heir; thus he was obliged to fulfill this priestly function at his predecessor’s funeral. Once banned by Akhenaton as barbarous, the possession and ritual use of such leopard skins suggests the extent to which his heretic influence had been abandoned during his son’s brief reign.

Golden Mummiform Coffin:

Lying within the stone sarcophagus, facing the sunrise, were 3 nesting anthropoid coffins, each more magnificent than the one preceding it. The 2 outmost coffins were made of wood (the first of them identified as cypress) overlaid with gold foil and inlaid with elaborate cloisonné work. Their sculpted covers (here represented by a traditional Pharaonic mummiform coffin lid) bear the reliefs portraying the recumbent pharaoh as Osiris, embraced by the protective wings of Isis and Nephthys. Nothing in their features suggests that they were originally intended for Tutankhamun. To Howard Carter’s astonishment, the third and innermost coffin was made of solid gold weighing 296 pounds, its ethereal gaze a result of the darkening of its inlaid alabaster eyes through the ages. Wearing the pleated false beard of divinity and the striped memes headdress crowned with the “Two Ladies” (the vulture and the cobra divinities), this dazzling mummy case is decorated in the classic Osirine style of the late New Kingdom.

Lion Unguent Jar:

The serene pose of this recumbent lion, unusual in its time, first appeared in a pair of granite lions intended for the monumental temple built in Nubia (Sudan) by the pharaoh Amenhotep III. For 20 years after his death one of the lions remained unfinished until his grandson, the pharaoh Tutankhamun respectfully had it completed along with a proud inscription. Found in the Burial Chamber near the doorway of the outermost shrine, this delightful alabaster unguent jar (suggesting the age-old association of royalty with lions) may have been a ritual or sentimental commemoration of the young pharaoh’s reverent act of devotion. Standing on 4 carved heads representing vanquished African and Asiatic enemies of Egypt (a recurrent motif among the sovereign’s possessions), the vase is incised and stained with scenes of lions and hounds hunting bulls and ibex, surmounted on its swivel lid by a recumbent lion inscribed with the pharaoh’s prenomen. The lion’s decorative tongue of painted ivory matches the traditionally depicted tongue of the dwarf god Bes, whose head is emerging from a pair of carved lotus columns supporting the lid.

Menkheret Carrying Tutankhamun:

The occult funeral rites, faithfully perpetuated by those who had long forgotten their remote origins, were primarily concerned with the various stages of the pharaoh’s rebirth as the living god. In the Treasury, sealed in small, black wooden shrines and undisturbed since the ancient burial day was a collection of gilded hardwood figures ritually associated with what the ancients referred to as “the divine ennead which is in the Netherworld,” of the 9 divinities of Heliopolis. Inscribed with the prenomen Nebkheprure on its black varnished base, this statue of the spirit Menkheret reverently bearing aloft the little pharaoh in his mummy shroud (wearing the red deshret crown) tenderly depicts the initial lethargy of the newborn divinity as he embarks, with the assistance of the gods, upon his journey beyond death.

Ritual Couch:

This spectacular piece of furniture was probably the first thing that Howard Carter saw when he broke the seal of the tomb. Associated with Mehetweret, goddess of “the great flood,” its matching heads were fashioned in the form of the revered cow goddess Hathor, their tall horns framing a pair of solar discs. The matching bodies, however, with their inlay of blue glass trefoils, evoke the celestial canopy associated with the sky goddess Nut. An inscription from The Book of the Divine Cow found in the Burial Chamber alludes to its sacred function as a solar barque for bearing the pharaoh to the heavens. Although commonly depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings, Tutankhamun’s was the only furniture of this sort ever to be found intact. The individual ceremonial purpose of each of the 3 ritual couches was associated with a different animal deity. The careless mismatching of parts between them suggests that they were erected in haste. Hieroglyphs carved on the footboard promise the protection of Isis and the endurance of Osiris.

Royal Mummy of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and Funerary Bier:

The much anticipated opening of the third coffin, delayed by the sudden death of Lord Carnarvon, revealed the pharaoh’s mummy which measured 5 ft. 4 in. in length. Wrapped in linen bandages enfolding over 150 carefully placed sacred jewels and amulets and liberally anointed with consecrated lustrations, his body had been badly damaged, its brittle tissue withered and blackened by excessive application of the very resins intended to preserve it. His face, protected by the gold mask suffered the least. Encircling his head was a splendid royal diadem (bearing a simple, knotted ribbon design) of gold inlaid with cloisonné and semiprecious stones. His fingers and toes were individually capped with plain gold sheaths and his feet were fitted with a pair of ornamental sandals made of gold. As the priceless treasures on Tutankhamun’s person were removed by Carter, the youthful pharaoh’s fragile remains were senselessly torn to pieces. A second examination of the mummy in 1968 revealed possible evidence of a fatal blow to the skull behind the left ear.

Sacred Udjat Amulet:

Charms fashioned from stone, gold, glass, or faience, amulets were cherished possessions believed to provide magical protection. Often worn as jewelry, they were buried with the dead, usually wrapped within the bandages of the mummy. These talismanic objects took the form of hieroglyphs, emblems, figurines, and even vessels, however the 2 most favored forms were the scarab and the udjat (“that which is in a good state”). In the shape of a human eye (adorned with kohl) resting on a sign which represents the markings on a falcon’s head, this amulet was identified with the magical protection of Horus, the falcon-headed son of Osiris. Symbolizing the eye lost by Horus while avenging his father’s murder, the sacred image was widely associated with filial devotion.

Scarab Amulet:

To the ancient Egyptians the ubiquitous sight of the scarab beetle rolling a ball of dung along the ground suggested the routine journey of the sun globe across the sky, thus it was adopted as the sacred symbol of their god Khepri, the rising sun. The word kheper, which meant both scarab and existence, provided 1 of the 3 hieroglyphic symbols for the pharaoh’s prenomen, Nebkheprure. Decorated with inlay of lapis lazuli, this traditional scarab amulet bears the same ornate design as a magnificent personal bracelet of the pharaoh’s found in the cartouche-shaped box.

Statue of Tutankhamun on a Leopard:

This mysterious image of the pharaoh, wearing the hedjet white crown of Upper Egypt and riding on the back of a leopard represents his passage through the dark Netherworld. That these figures, as Howard Carter observed, “were supposed to have some form of magic inherent in them is evident, although their exact meaning in this burial is unclear to us.” On his funerary pilgrimage the dead pharaoh would be transported on the head of a goddess, carried through the swamps on a papyrus barque to battle a demon god, and borne above his adversaries on the back of a guardian leopard. Having crossed the various thresholds of his journey he would emerge along with the rising sun, reborn as the new pharaoh. Discovered in the Treasury, draped in a linen shawl and sealed beside its twin in a black varnished wooden shrine, the ritual statue portrays the pharaoh walking with a long staff in one hand and a flail in the other.

The God Ptah:

During the Old Kingdom when the pyramids were built, Memphis was the royal capitol of the pharaohs. Long before Amun-Re became the local tribal god of Thebes, the patron deity of Memphis was Ptah. Among the oldest of Egyptian gods, Ptah was traditionally the protector of artisans and craftsmen. By proclaiming the names of everything that exists, this most ancient and supreme divinity conjured the universe and the gods into being. Predating the ingenious creation concept of a solar deity issuing forth from the primordial lotus, the enduring Ptah encompassed the other gods within his divine essence. Found in the Treasury, this gilded wooden figure is shrouded in feathers and holding a staff bearing the hieroglyphic symbols for life and stability.

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