Sunday, December 29, 2013

Museum Pieces - Funeral Ostracon

(Photocredit: The Manchester Museum)

Accession Number5886
Object NameOstracon
DescriptionOstracon of limestone, from western Thebes, probably of New Kingdom date and donated by Sir Alan Gardiner. It bears a unique ink sketch: a scene of a funeral. The sketch shows a tomb shaft – of the type known from Deir el-Medina – with a group of female mourners gathered around it. Within the shaft a man is seen descending, and within the chambers of the tomb itself the burial party carry a coffin into place. A striking detail is that one of the party has a jackal head. Given the informal medium, the sketch is likely to show the burial as it happened, albeit in schematic fashion. The implication is that one of the party is wearing a jackal-headed mask. A famous example in Hildesheim may represent such a mask, used for the impersonation of Anubis, the god of mummification.
Height (cm)16.0
Primary MaterialsLimestone
Period/DynastyNew Kingdom
Earliest Date1539
Latest Date1075
Site NameAfrica, Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes: West Bank
AcquisitionGardiner, Sir Alan H. (Donation, 1913)
Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, vol. 35 (1913), p. 229, pl. 46.
Figure 39.


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