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Model Grinder Inscribed for Amunhotep II

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
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.
MEDIUM Egyptian alabaster
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1426-1400 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS Other (average): 1 9/16 x 3 9/16 in. (4 x 9 cm)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 36.621.2
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
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