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Small Pyramid of a Woman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Reliefs on four sides of this small pyramid from a woman’s tomb depict basic aspects of Egyptian belief. The deceased worships Osiris in the niche and Re on the back, the two major gods connected to the afterlife. On the right side, a human-headed bird representing the ba-soul, which travels outside the tomb, perches on a djed-pillar, a symbol of rebirth. The deceased is followed by two demigods. On the left side, the gods Horus and Thoth perform part of the funeral purification ritual on the deceased’s mummy.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
DATES ca. 1185–718 B.C.E.
DYNASTY Dynasty 20 to Dynasty 22
PERIOD New Kingdom to Third Intermediate Period
DIMENSIONS 9 x 8 1/8 x 6 1/4 in., 19.5 lb. (22.9 x 20.6 x 15.9 cm, 8.85kg)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large yellow limestone pyramidion belonging to a woman (name lost). Probably serving as the cap stone of her tomb. Two columns of hieroglyphs on left side of front; in the depression on front; on the depression on front the deceased is shown worshipping seated Osiris. On the right side there is a Ded symbol surmounted by a Ba Bird. The rest of the side is occupied by the figure of the woman preceded and followed by two genii. The left side has a representation of Thoth and Horus pouring water over a mummy-form figure, presumably, the deceased. On the back the deceased is shown worshipping a seated figure of Nephthys or Nut with outstretched wings. Condition: Upper left corner of front side badly chipped. Side worn and chipped, top chipped, entire piece chipped. On the left side considerable traces of red and black paint remain, especially on the Ded symbol.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Small Pyramid of a Woman, ca. 1185–718 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 9 x 8 1/8 x 6 1/4 in., 19.5 lb. (22.9 x 20.6 x 15.9 cm, 8.85kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 05.336. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.336_side2_PS1.jpg)
IMAGE side, side 2, 05.336_side2_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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