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Large Tag for Mummy

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Among the most common so-called daily-life scenes found in Old Kingdom tombs are ones in which servants parade livestock or food as their master sits watching. Where this was meant to take place is a matter of debate. Did these scenes occur in the hereafter, did they depict actual events in the lifetime of the tomb owner, or were they symbolic in nature? This block shows a number of motifs drawn from such scenes. Their asymmetrical arrangement and the size of the object itself raise questions about the original purpose of the block. It may be an artist's model or a fragment of a stela.

MEDIUM Wood, pigment
  • Reportedly From: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES 664–332 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 9/16 in. (14 x 9.5 x 1.5 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A small wooden board inscribed with 3 ½ lines of hieratic, a quote from The Instructions of Hardjdef. The board has a tenon projecting from its top with a hole pierced through it running parallel to the face of the board. The inscription runs at a right angle to the horizontal axis of the board. Condition: The board is in excellent condition. The uninscribed verso shows a few holes and gauges. The recto has no mars and the writing is extremely clear. There are no traces of a gesso-covering if there originally was one.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Large Tag for Mummy, 664–332 B.C.E. Wood, pigment, 5 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 9/16 in. (14 x 9.5 x 1.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1394E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1394E_bw_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1394E_bw_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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