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Photos from the Oriental Institute
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:36 am    Post subject: Photos from the Oriental Institute Reply with quote

I'm following Rozette's example of the wonderful photos her daughter took at the British Museum, and am starting a new thread to show you folks some photos from the Oriental Institute (on the campus of the University of Chicago). I'm going to start my formal training there next month to become a docent, in addition to the work I do at the Field Museum.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the O.I., it's one of the world's leading centers of study of ancient Egypt and the Near East, including Hatti, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, and the Levant. I'm comfortable with my background in the study of ancient Egypt, but I have my work cut out for me with Mesopotamia. That being said, most of these photos I'm posting concern ancient Egypt. The O.I. Egyptian gallery is quite small but stunningly displayed.

One of the most famous pieces at the O.I. is the colossal statue of Tutankhamun. It's one of a pair found at Karnak (I believe), and the other one is still in Egypt. Both were very damaged and this one was heavily restored--to the extent that many have questioned the authenticity of the face. This is one of those statues that Horemheb usurped. Here on the back column you can clearly see where the cartouches have been reworked to take Horemheb's nomen and pronomen. And to the right of Tut's feet is all that remains of a tiny pair of feet, which was probably where Ankhesenamun was positioned.

Some tomb models from the First Intermediate Period:

Tomb model: I think this one depicts an ancient Egyptian animal massage day spa. All right, it's a butcher's shop (but it sure looks like the cow is getting a massage). Razz

Tomb model: a baker or brewery (I can't tell if they're making bread or beer, or both).

This stela is from Dynasty 19 and shows Seti I and his young son Ramesses (the Great) at left; they are being venerated by the priests to the right.

The colors that have survived at Medinet Habu are amazing. This was the mortuary temple of Ramesses III. Here's a depiction of a Palestinian captive, his arms bound behind his back. My apologies that it's a bit blurry--I think the captive moved just as I photographed him. Yeah, right. And this is part of a lotusform column from Medinet Habu, the colors still vivid.

This tomb relief is very interesting...and even more blurry. Again, sorry. Embarassed I wanted to show you this view, and this is all I have. It belonged to an official named Nefermaat who lived late in Dynasty 3 or early in Dynasty 4. The inscription you see running vertically down the left side in front of Nefermaat reads: "He is one who made his signs in writing that cannot be erased." So even that far back, early in the Old Kingdom, there was concern over the damaging or usurpation of reliefs. Here's a closeup of the bottom of the relief, with a better view of the glyphs. Nefermaat devised the reliefs so that they were carved very deep and then filled with colored paste (the paste is mostly reconstructed here). The practice was labor intensive and, needless to say, didn't last long.

The O.I. has a few mummies and coffins on display, including the cartonnage coffin of Meresamun, a "Singer in the Interior of the Temple of Amun" in the Third Intermediate Period. She was a very tiny woman. Around her display case are images showing the CT-scans that were done of her. And this little mummy is of a young boy who lived in the Roman Period (1st or 2nd century CE). The O.I. also has some beautiful cartonnage burial masks, including these two. The one at left is from the Ptolemaic Period; at right, Roman Period.

In one large display case is a generous collection of statuettes showing people engaged in all sorts of activities and industries; they are all believed to have come from the Old Kingdom tomb of one Nykauinpu, at Giza. Two boys wrestling is the theme of this one, which is particularly charming; you can see one boy straddling the back of another, clearly getting the upper hand. And here's one of a butcher at work.

The O.I. has a number of Books of the Dead on display, and most of them are extremely difficult to photograph well. I like this example because it shows drawings of the amulets that go in the mummy's wrappings and the spells that are to be recited over the amulets to imbue them with their powers. All of this can be seen on the right half of this scroll.

Then there is the aegis. It was so hard to see in this photo that I went in and digitally "dialed back" everything else in the photo. It was Shepenmut who showed a similar aegis in one of her photos in this thread on museum photographs (it's near the bottom of the page in this link). I wasn't even sure what the thing was and had forgotten the O.I. also has one on display; anneke provided me with the name "aegis." This is the Greek word for "shield," and the Egyptian version, I've since learned, is a representation of a broad collar surmounted with the head of a deity. Sacred barks (the boat kind, not the dog) had them fixed to their bows. Anneke informed me that these aegises are "dance attributes," but I must confess I still don't understand exactly how they were used. If you look carefully at my example you can see there is a recess on the head of the goddess, as though to fit a candle or cone or similar device. I'd appreciate any further information anyone might provide on the Egyptian aegis. Wink

To close out the Egyptian gallery, here's something that was actually found in the ruins of Megiddo, in the Levant (in northern Israel today). It comes from Dynasty 12 Egypt and belonged to a nomarch of the Hare Nome named Djehutyhotep, from his tomb in Bersheh (Middle Egypt). It was found in the Late Bronze Age Strata IX-VII but originally lay in the older Middle Bronze Strata IIA. Djehutyhotep also possessed the unusual title of "Controller of the Two Thrones," a title with which I am unfamiliar. Tuthmosis III conquered Megiddo during his reign, of course, but this statue fragment found its way there much earlier.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just to round things out it's only fair to share some photos of the Babylonian, Persian, and Canaanite galleries. One of the most impressive pieces on display in the whole museum is this massive lamassu, which came from the throne room of Sargon II, in Khorsabad.

There's one display case devoted to the Hittites, who produced some splendid pottery. There is even more beautiful pottery displayed in the Megiddo collection, where the statue fragment of Djehutyhotep is also displayed. Nearby is a Jewish ossuary (bone box) with an inscription that reads "Yoezer, son of Yehohanan, the scribe." The use of ossuaries by the Jews began around the end of the 1st century CE; wooden coffins were used before that.

One of the prizes of the Levantine collection is this statuette of El, the main Canaanite creator deity. It's a small statue but very beautiful. El very well may have been the model for the Hebraic god Yahweh, who of course is the same god worshiped by Christians and Muslims. The Bible has numerous mentions of the name El: Abraham, in Genesis, refers to God as El Elyon (God Most High), and there is also the more familiar name El Shaddai (God Almighty). "El" became the general biblical term for God.

Finally, I've always been struck by this colossal bull head in the Persion gallery. It comes from the Hundred-Column Hall of Persepolis and dates to the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes I. It's an impressive sight to behold. To give you an idea of size, here's a photo of me standing next to it. I'm a bit blurry because I had to use my camera's timer and it was set to two seconds, and I couldn't remember how to change it to a longer setting--I had to hurry over there to get in on time! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are great pictures, kmt_sesh !!!!! Razz

The colossal statue of Tutankhamun is very impressive. It looks very tall. I love the picture with the tiny feet Smile .

The pictures of the the tomb model of the butcher's shop and the bakery or brewery, the two boys wrestling and the butcher at work are very vivid to see.
The colors on the lotusform column are beautiful preserved , the column looks very huge.

The pictures of the mummy of the litlle boy ,the cartonnage coffin of Meresamun and the two cartonnage burial masks are also great to see.

I was amazed by the seize of the colossal bull head, nice pictures Razz .

Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures kmt_sesh Very Happy .

Kirsten and Rozette
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isisinacrisis
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are fantastic pictures! I love seeing pics of all the museums I probably won't get to visit...the Tut statue is amazing!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful pictures, Kmt_sesh. Cool

The pictures of the tomb models are very nice to see, and I love the picture of the two kids wrestling, they look so cute.
I probably don't really need to tell you this, but my favourite photograph is of the stela depicting Seti and Ramses. Razz Any idea where that was found?
I must say, Kmt_sesh, you must be quite the photographer, as that picture of the Book of the Dead you've posted is probably one of the best I've ever seen! Wink
I love the pictures of Medinet Habu too - very colouful. Exclamation

Thanks for showing us, Kmt_sesh, it must have kept you busy for a while posting all them pictues. Laughing
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kat
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Aegis Info Reply with quote

One of the symbols, or emblems, of Bastet is the _aegis_, often described as 'the shield of Bastet". But is it really a shield, or, owing to AE artistic conventions, is it something else that's being depicted?

http://www.thewalters.org/html/collec_object_detail.asp?ID=36&object_ID=57.540

This picture on the Walters Museum website doesn't show the back of the piece, but the back is shown in Capel & Markoe's show catalog _Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of the House_. It's a menat, attached by a hinge to the main piece, and shows a standing lioness goddess nursing the child Horus (Heru).

"The end of the New Kingdom witnessed the introduction of a cultic ornament, known as an aegis, consisting of an _usekh_, a broad beaded collar, surmounted by the head of a deity. Depicted often as an amulet, several large examples in bronze have survived that probably served as votive offerings or attachments to large scale divine statuary. As on the present example, the aegis is often combined with a secondary element: a _menat_ counterpoise. Like the aegis, the menat served a protective and regenerative function, both ornaments assured their possessor of the blessings of rebirth and eternal life in the hereafter."

quoted from : Capel, Anne E. and Glenn E. Markoe, editors, _Mistress of the House Mistress of Heaven Women in Ancient Egypt_, Hudson Hills Press, New York,in association with Cincinnati Art Museum, c. 1996, ISBN 1- 55595- 129-5 (alk paper), p. 136

An article about the restoration of an Isis (Aset) aegis from the
"Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts", Boston, can be found here (I think this article mentions a menat for the back of the aegis, but now I don't remember) :

D. Dunham "An Egyptian Bronze Aegis" BMFA 29, No. 176 (December 1931), pp. 104-109


http://www.gizapyramids.org/pdf20library/bmfa_pdfs/bmfa29_1931_104to109.pdf

A beautiful faience example from the Metropolitan Museum can be seen here:

http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/egam/ho_10.130.2055.htm

HTH

kat

P.S. Your aegis shows a woman's head, wearing a modius crown, sort of like a pillbox hat but worn flat atop the head. In this case, I wonder if the hole? on the top is where the horns and disk emblem of Hathor(but syncretized to Isis) were attached?

And I have one other article, about the restoration of an aegis in the Met. It cites the BMFA article above, but doesn't contain much more info. But I can try to email the pdf to you if you'd like?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pictures Very Happy

Here's a scaled version of the palestinian captive. No longer blurry at this smaller scale Wink

http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/Faculty/bart/egyptfoto/john/Palest-MedHab.jpg

The Seti-Ramesses stela is one I have always really liked.



I painted this one, twice actually. I wish I could find a copy of the papyrus version of this one
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of your kind comments, folks. The credit really goes to the Oriental Institute and the fine collection they have on display. I highly recommend a visit there if you're in Chicago.

Daughter_Of_SETI wrote:
Quote:
I probably don't really need to tell you this, but my favourite photograph is of the stela depicting Seti and Ramses. Any idea where that was found?


Yes, I found it at the Oriental Institute. Laughing Oh damn, I'm so funny!

Err, okay, sorry. I'm just a smart-arse but I couldn't resist.

I wondered about that, too, so I checked the catalog Emily Teeter wrote for the O.I.'s Egyptian gallery. The stela was most likely commissioned by one of the priests on the right side, named Amunwashu, because the emphasis on the stela is on him, and so it is thought that the stela may come from his memorial chapel or tomb. Of the two priests on the right side, the glyphs above the heads name him as the one in front. I don't know if anneke has anything to add but I know she also likes this stela; well, her post above spells that out.

kat wrote:
Quote:
One of the symbols, or emblems, of Bastet is the _aegis_, often described as 'the shield of Bastet". But is it really a shield, or, owing to AE artistic conventions, is it something else that's being depicted?


Thanks so much for providing all of that information. It helps me understand the aegis better but I am still left to wonder how such a device was used in ritual. I did not know that the aegis serves a regenerative/afterlife function.

After anneke provided some information about this object in that other thread on museum photos, I spent some time researching it myself but didn't learn much. I did come across a number of photos and can see that most of these things seem to bear the heads of women (i.e., Isis or Hathor), but I did see a couple of examples with the heads of Sekhmet (like the one in your photo), Amun in ram form, and Khnum. I didn't see any with the head of Bastet, though.

Quote:
P.S. Your aegis shows a woman's head, wearing a modius crown, sort of like a pillbox hat but worn flat atop the head. In this case, I wonder if the hole? on the top is where the horns and disk emblem of Hathor(but syncretized to Isis) were attached?


There is indeed a hole in the "pillbox" hat and I was wondering about that. I had thought it might be for securing some kind of cultic implement, but I think you're right: it was probably the socket for a now-missing set of horns and disk.

Don't worry about e-mailing anything, kat. You've been more than helpful as it is. Wink

anneke wrote:
Quote:
Here's a scaled version of the palestinian captive. No longer blurry at this smaller scale


LOL Is that really the same photo? All I needed to do was scale it further? I say "further" because the photos started actually larger than what I posted--quite a lot larger, in fact. Thanks a lot for posting that image. I was drawn to the little Palestinian when I was taking pictures. The colors are so vibrant on him.

Regarding the Seti I stela that Daughter_Of_SETI likes, do you know anything more about it than what appears in Teeter's catalog? It really is a beautiful piece.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as I'm checking in, I thought I'd share some more photos form the O.I. For instance, here is an example of finely woven linen dating to the reign of Hatshepsut (and note the beautiful baskets in the background, as long as you're looking). Somewhere on the linen is an inscription that says "rightful ruler." I don't think it's visible to the public because I looked and looked and looked and couldn't find it. But what it means is that it probably came from the royal workshop of Hatshepsut.

I suppose I'm one of the few men on earth who can get excited over a piece of ancient cloth, but it is amazingly well preserved. I swear, it still looks like something in which you could bundle yourself on a chilly autumn evening. Smile

A particularly interesting artifact is this water clock, which comes from the reign of Ptolemy II. That's Thoth in baboon form jutting out in raised relief near the bottom; Thoth was regarded as the Egyptian "reckoner of time."

One of my favorite artifacts at the O.I. is this tomb fragment from the Third Intermediate Period tomb of Mentuemhet, near Luxor. I hope it displays okay when you click it because people were having a hard time with the image in another ED discussion recently. The top protion shows a spectacularly detailed fishing scene with a net strung through the water; several fish have been caught in the net. A very talented hand carved these fine details. Also note the excellent carving of the women below, carrying their baskets of fish and produce. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That stela is included in The Tomb of Tia and Tia by GT Martin et al (entry 333)

It's described in the book as "the lower half of a stela (?)"

It was purchased in 1919 in Cairo from Maurice Nahman. The description continues to say that above are traces of a pedestal.

the Osiris, the scribe of the offering table of the Lord of the Two Lands Amenwahsu, justified, repeating life censes and libates the Osiris, King, Lord of the Two Lands, Men-Maat-Re Seti beloved of Ptah, repeating life, posessor of reverence who stands behind an offering table. Seti I is accompanied by the furure Ramesses II, the King's bodily son, whom he loves, Ramessu . Behind Amenwahsu stands the Osiris, the royal scribe, Tyia, justified

There is a further discussion of the stela on page 50.
I don't know who wrote the initial description of the stela in the "Tomb of Tia and Tia". I suspect it's Martin himself.
A "further discussion" is written by Jacobus van Dijk.

There is evidence of sawing at the top while the bottom edge, right side and the back appear to have been trimmed. The trimming is presumably dome by the ancient sculptors. The sawing is modern and took place when the stela was cut in two.

van Dijk mentions that even though the name of Tyia is written different from all the spellings used in Tia's saqqara tomb, it may still represent the husband of the similar named Princess Tia. This is due to the idea that the name Tia is fairly rare.

Hibachi had suggested that Amenwahsu was Tia's father, but van Dijk thinks there is no evidence for this.

van Dijk comments that a curious aspect of this stela is the anachronistic nature, which seems to contradict the well-established coregency of Seti I and Ramesses II. Ramesses is depicted as crown-prince while Seti I is cleasly depicted as deceased.
van Dijk states that the likely explanation is that this stela is related to the mortuary cult of Seti I, presumably at Abydos. In the great temple of Abydos Ramesses is depicted 4 times as crown-prince in reliefs in the Hall of the Ancestors.

If so, then the Chicago fragment comes from Abydos, just like the only other private monument depicting Seti with his eldest son as crown prince, the stela of May in Brussels.

Like this stela the missing part of the Chicago fragment may show Seti and Ramesses worshipping Osiris.

Martin also includes this stela in his Corpus of Reliefs of the New Kingdom from the Memphite Necropolis and Lower Egypt; Volume 1
There it's mentioned that the provenance was not recorded, but that it possibly comes from Saqqara.

The "Tomb of Tia and Tia" dates to 1997 and "Corpus of Beliefs" to 1987.


Laughing More than you wanted to know?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:

Quote:
I did come across a number of photos and can see that most of these things seem to bear the heads of women (i.e., Isis or Hathor), but I did see a couple of examples with the heads of Sekhmet (like the one in your photo), Amun in ram form, and Khnum. I didn't see any with the head of Bastet, though.


But the lioness-headed aegises could well be Bastet, who was originally a lioness-headed goddess, first attested in the 2ND Dynasty! It wasn't til the 18TH that She became associated with the domesticate.

The German team that worked most recently at Tell Basta found the funace where these faience amulets were fired, as well as a number of molds for making these lioness-headed aegises.

It's thought that the wonderful cat-headed 'Housewife Bastet' figures that show Her holding a lioness-headed aegis was a visual shorthand to remind the viewer of both sides of Her nature.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/html/hidden_treasures/hidden_treasures_26.html

http://www.egyptarchive.co.uk/html/hidden_treasures/hidden_treasures_25.html

Sandstone statue of Neb-re as standard bearer of the goddess Sekhmet. From the reign of Ramesses II, 19th Dynasty.

These two photos are from Jon Bodsworth's Egypt Archive. There used to be a photo on the Thot Web site sowing the same statue, as well as a close-up of the staff he's carrying. It has a lioness-headed aegis at the top. She is crowned with a solar disk and uraeus.

So this is another way these objects were used.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
Yes, I found it at the Oriental Institute. Laughing Oh damn, I'm so funny!

Err, okay, sorry. I'm just a smart-arse but I couldn't resist.

Laughing

Thanks Kmt_sesh and Anneke for all the information on the stela. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful Pictures Kmt_Sesh,

Do you mind if I put them in my map of the Oriental Institute ??
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kat wrote:
Quote:
So this is another way these objects were used.


Thanks for the additional information. I didn't realize the aegis was used on staves, though goodness knows how many hundreds of times I've seen them without even knowing what they are. Rolling Eyes I appreciate your posting those beautiful photos of Neb-re with the aegis staff.

Quote:
But the lioness-headed aegises could well be Bastet, who was originally a lioness-headed goddess, first attested in the 2ND Dynasty! It wasn't til the 18TH that She became associated with the domesticate.


The photo I came across of the lion-headed aegis described it as Sekhmet, but your point is well made. Bastet is an ancient goddess. So is Sekhmet, for that matter, but as an article in the new issue of KMT reminds us, prior to the reign of Amunhotep III she was a minor deity. He's the one who erected all those Sekhmet statues, and the article convincingly argues he did so because of a plague that was ravaging the land.

carla wrote:
Quote:
Do you mind if I put them in my map of the Oriental Institute ??


I don't mind at all, so please go ahead. Wink At the same time, I hope you don't mind if I help myself to your cool little pharaoh emoticons!
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought John might like this tile depicting an asiatic:


It's from the Louvre, but I wouldn't be surprised if it came from the same place as your Palestinian Very Happy


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