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Model Hoe

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Foundation Deposits

In addition to commissioning new buildings, Egyptian kings occasionally claimed existing structures such as temples or palaces as their own.

The most common way for a king to do this was to substitute his own name for that of the original builder in the inscriptions. When a king commissioned a new structure, he buried objects in the four corners of the foundation to be certain that the gods would remember the true builder and that later kings could not find and reinscribe them. These so-called foundation deposits usually included plaques with the king’s name, as well as models of objects used to erect the building, such as grinders, hoes, and rockers needed to move large stones.
DATES ca. 1478–1458 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 18
PERIOD New Kingdom
DIMENSIONS 02.227a: Diam. 1/2 × 12 3/16 in. (1.3 × 31 cm) 02.227b: Diam. 1/2 × 12 5/16 in. (1.3 × 31.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
PROVENANCE Foundation deposit in south side of Middle Terrace, Great Temple of Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, Egypt; 1895-1902 excavated by Édouard Naville, Egypt Exploration Society; 1902, gift of the Egypt Exploration Society to the Brooklyn Museum.
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Model wooden hoe made of two separate pieces one of which is pierced through at an angle for insertion of other piece. One piece has crudely incised column of inscription. Condition: Minor chips, otherwise intact.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Model Hoe, ca. 1478–1458 B.C.E. Wood, 02.227a: Diam. 1/2 × 12 3/16 in. (1.3 × 31 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 02.227a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.02.227a-b_erg456.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.02.227a-b_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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