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The Magic Bricks in KV55
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Orwell
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:08 pm    Post subject: The Magic Bricks in KV55 Reply with quote

I've had a crazy idea guys. I thought, if I started a post on a 'specific' something I was interested in on it's own thread, we could all dutifully stick to that one 'specific' something and hopefully spiral off into a hundred other discussions on semi-related tangential Egyptiolgical somethings.


So: the magic bricks in KV55. : What do we know about them and what can they tell us?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Re: The Magic Bricks in KV55 Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
I've had a crazy idea guys. I thought, if I started a post on a 'specific' something I was interested in on it's own thread, we could all dutifully stick to that one 'specific' something and hopefully NOT spiral off into a hundred other discussions on barely-to-semi-related tangential Egyptiolgical somethings.


So: the magic bricks in KV55. : What do we know about them and what can they tell us?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lieutenant Lutz has kindly given me some VERY useful information on Magic Bricks (on the KV55 thread). This being, basically, that there are no known cases of one Pharaoh's magic bricks being used in another mummy's burial.

I have read a few views about the magic Bricks in KV55, and it appears that they belonged to Akhenaten. Two had his inscrition on them as far as I know.

I read somewhere that two of them were not of as good quality as the two with is name name on them. They were made of inferior clay or something. Is that true?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Orwell your new profile picture distructed me, I did not recognise it was you. Laughing

I have heard of 'magic bricks' that are thought to have been associated with Ankhenaten. Perhaps you are able to find out what the inscription are on the two bricks? That could be rather interesting Orwell Smile
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It is of course the hieght of irony that, after this intensive campaign to expunge them from the annals of Egypt, the Amarna pharaohs are today probably the most recognized of all the country's ancient rulers!

Quote 'Amarna Sunset' by Aidan Dodson.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Orwell your new profile picture distructed me, I did not recognise it was you. Laughing

I have heard of 'magic bricks' that are thought to have been associated with Ankhenaten. Perhaps you are able to find out what the inscription are on the two bricks? That could be rather interesting Orwell Smile
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It is of course the hieght of irony that, after this intensive campaign to expunge them from the annals of Egypt, the Amarna pharaohs are today probably the most recognized of all the country's ancient rulers!

Quote 'Amarna Sunset' by Aidan Dodson.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the beginning perhaps a few observations on the meaning of the so-called "magic bricks". For simplicity, and before I torment you with my poor English, I quote from an article by A. M. Roth and C. H. Roehrig : MAGICAL BRICKS AND THE BRICKS OF BIRTH. - In: The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology - JEA - 88. - 2002. - pp. 121 - 139:

Quote:
"Four mud-bricks inscribed with spells from Chapter 151 of the Book of the Dead are often found in the burial chambers of royal and elite tombs dating from the New Kingdom. These bricks can be shown to represent the four bricks that supported women during childbirth. The use of bricks in a mortuary context is thus metaphorical, replicating the equipment of an earthly birth in order to ensure the deceased's rebirth into the other world. Such bricks may also have been used in the 'Opening of the Mouth' ritual, both at funerals and in temple foundation ceremonies. In connection with their role at birth, bricks also appear at the judgment a person faced after death. Like other artifacts surrounding birth in Egypt, bricks of birth had parallels in ancient Mesopotamia.

During the New Kingdom, four magical bricks were often placed in niches in the burial chambers of royal tombs, and in some private tombs and burials of the Apis bull as well. The bricks and their associated figures were preserved in the tomb of Tutankhamun; two bricks were found in the tomb of Horemheb, and, surprisingly, bricks inscribed for Amenhotep IV / Akhenaton were found in KV 55. Other inscribed bricks bear the names of Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV, and two Apis bulls buried in the reigns of Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, as well as various queens and private individuals.

Each of these four bricks was associated with one of four amuletic igures : a recumbent jackal on a shrine, a mummiform image, a reed that represented a flame, and a djed-pillar. Usually the bricks bore the text of a spell from Chapter 151 of the Book of the Dead describing the protective function of the amuletic figure and a cardinal point designating the wall into which they were to be inserted. In these spells, the jackal is identified as the god Anubis, but the other figures are not explicitly identified with divinities. The full text of this chapter, given in Book of the Dead manuscripts, gives detailed instructions for the treatment of the bricks and figures: the bricks are to be unbaked; the mouth of the mummiform image is to be opened; and the djed-pillar is to be of faience and electrum, anointed, and wrapped in royal linen. The figures are to be attached to the bricks and placed in niches cut in the appropriate walls of the burial chamber. The niches should then be covered. In one case, the preparation of the bricks is said to require an officiant who has neither eaten fish and small cattle nor approached a woman.

Despite these specific directions, the placement of the bricks and figures varies considerably in the few depositions preserved in situ. In the tomb of Tutankhamun, the sole royal burial chamber in which all four niches were found with their contents sealed inside, only the mummiform image and its brick were in their proper position in the north wall. The jackal and its brick were placed in the west wall rather than the east; the djed-pillar and its brick were in the south wall rather than the west; and an anomalous figure of Osiris was attached to the brick associated with the flame, which was set in the east wall rather than the south. A fifth brick, accompanied by a reed and inscribed with the spell that normally
accompanies the flame, was found to the east of the burial chamber, at the entrance to the 'Treasury'. Furthermore, although the full text of Chapter 151 directs that only the djedpillar was to be wrapped in linen, the priests who prepared Tutankhamun's burial wrapped in linen all the amuletic figures placed in niches except the djed-pillar.

Variations in the nature of the amuletic figures and the disposition of the bricks are not unique to Tutankhamun's burial. Among bricks of Amenhotep II, the only two surviving figures were both jackals, one associated correctly with the eastern brick and the other, incorrectly, with the southern brick. In the tomb of Thutmose IV, the jackal and its brick were found partially sealed into a niche on the south side of the sarcophagus instead of the east. In KV 55, although the bricks were found in the proper relationship to one another, each deviated from its proper position by 270 degrees. M. Bell has argued, however, that the tomb had a theoretical orientation different from its true orientation; in terms of the theoretical cardinal directions, the bricks in KV 55 were accurately placed. ... The anomalies in the placement of the bricks also occur in private tombs, ..."


Orwell wrote:
... I read somewhere that two of them were not of as good quality as the two with its name [Nefercheperura Waenra] on them. They were made of inferior clay or something. Is that true?

The northern and southern bricks were larger and better made than the eastern and western ones, which were inscribed in hieratic rather than hieroglyphic. Elizabeth Thomas : The Four Niches and Amuletic Figures in Theban Royal Tombs. - In: JARCE 3. - 1964. - pp. 71 - 78, states that the owner's name was not preserved on either of these cruder bricks in hieratic, and they may have belonged to someone else.

Greetings, Lutz.
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Orwell
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Lutz.

As in everything Egyptological, there's plenty to speculate about here. The basic point though, is that (if Bell is correct - and I see no reason why we should doubt her on this), there were four Magic Bricks found in KV55, and all of them appear to have ben placed in proper orientation to the coffin.

I know one was under the collapsed bier, but were any of the others in niches, do you know? I didn't really get an idea of where exactly they were placed 'in situ'. I'm thinking on the floor.

As to the poorer quality bricks, I'm wondering if they might not have been knocked up to replace the two that were lost or destroyed. (The idea the Amarna tomb was ransacked before Ahkenhaten and Tiye's burial was moved to KV55 seems awfully enticing - and plausible).
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeez I hate when that happens.

First of all Distracted not Distructed.
Also I hate when it posts twice when I posted it once....

-.-

Sorry
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It is of course the hieght of irony that, after this intensive campaign to expunge them from the annals of Egypt, the Amarna pharaohs are today probably the most recognized of all the country's ancient rulers!

Quote 'Amarna Sunset' by Aidan Dodson.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
... The basic point though, is that (if Bell is correct - and I see no reason why we should doubt her on this), there were four Magic Bricks found in KV55, and all of them appear to have ben placed in proper orientation to the coffin. ...

Find and correct placement are already described in Davis : The Tomb of Queen Tiyi (1910). They were probably not in niches in the wall, however, were arranged according to their prescribed direction around the coffin on the floor.

Orwell wrote:
... As to the poorer quality bricks, I'm wondering if they might not have been knocked up to replace the two that were lost or destroyed. ...

It is reasonable to assume with some certainty. Another possibility is of course the presence of a second burial in KV 55. However, we have no evidence for a secondary use of magic bricks for another person whose name does not appear on the brick.

There was probably some kind of foundation deposit in the tomb (Davis, 1910, p.36). Furthermore, several golden or gilded bronze discs were found. We know such objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Here they were sewn onto the large piece of blue linen, found on a wooden frame over the second shrine (probably symbolizing stars on the night sky).

I think that the sum of the evidence clearly show that there was originally at some point an ritually intact royal burial, at least for one person, in KV 55.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would Tiye have have had her own bricks at burial, whether her original burial or later internment, or was it only Pharoahs who had Magic Bricks?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
Would Tiye have have had her own bricks at burial, whether her original burial or later internment, or was it only Pharoahs who had Magic Bricks?

See for that my quote from Roth / Roehrig : MAGICAL BRICKS AND THE BRICKS OF BIRTH here in this thread ...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Orwell wrote:
Would Tiye have have had her own bricks at burial, whether her original burial or later internment, or was it only Pharoahs who had Magic Bricks?

See for that my quote from Roth / Roehrig : MAGICAL BRICKS AND THE BRICKS OF BIRTH here in this thread ...

Greetings, Lutz.


Thanks Lutz. Read it again (I had saved it of course! Wink )

It mentions them being used in Royal Burials (and Apis burials!) but it does not specify 'female' nobility.

Am I reading the article correctly? If so, do you (or anyone) know of bricks being used in 'female' burials at all?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

considering the only royal female burial from the new kingdom to have survived relatively intact, belonged to the 3 syrian wives of thutmose III, it is not surprising we have no idea how new kingdom queens were buried.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orwell wrote:
Would Tiye have have had her own bricks at burial, whether her original burial or later internment, or was it only Pharoahs who had Magic Bricks? ... them being used in Royal Burials (and Apis burials!) but it does not specify 'female' nobility. ... do you (or anyone) know of bricks being used in 'female' burials at all?

Yes, one example from the New Kingdom is the burial of the wife of the viceroy of Kush Anhotep. Hel (or Hunuro) was her name. The bricks are described in
David P. Silverman : Magical Bricks of Hunuro. - In: Studies in honor of William Kelly Simpson - 2. - Boston, 1996. - pp. 725 - 741. One tomb, two burials, two sets of bricks.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Lutz. So the the two inferior bricks might have belonged to either Akhenaten or Tiye. I still opt for Akhenaten because of the orientation of said bricks. When Tiye's burial goods were removed I guess, if she had them, her bricks must have gone too.
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