Model of a Temple Gateway
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Although this model was found at Tell el Yahudiya in the Nile Delta, the inscriptions along its base suggest that King Seti I donated it to a now-lost temple at Heliopolis, the center of the solar cult, just outside modern Cairo. Why it was deposited at Tell el Yahudiya is a mystery.
As seen in the photograph here, the model was once replete with a pylon (or gateway), flagpoles, statues of Seti I in the guise of Osiris (ruler of the underworld), and four sphinxes flanking the entrance staircase. The reliefs around the base show the king
nearly prostrate, making offerings to three forms of the sun:
Khepri (the sun rising in the morning), Re-Horakhty (the sun at its zenith at noon), and Atum (the sun setting in the evening).
The purpose of the model is unclear. Although it is generally regarded as a foundation deposit or offering given by the king at the groundbreaking for the temple it represents, it may have served a magical purpose.
A reconstruction of this model can be seen in the installation Temples, Tombs, and the Egyptian Universe.
ca. 1290-1279 B.C.E.
9 1/2 x 44 x 34 in., 1025 lb. (24.1 x 111.8 x 86.4 cm, 464.9kg) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Brown quartzite base for a votive model of the temple of Heliopolis dedicated by Seti I. Sides and front of base decorated in sunk relief with figures of Seti I, kneeling and presenting offerings. Long inscription incised in lines and columns on two sides and front of base. On top surface, double staircase leads to platform on which model of temple was placed. Depressions for walls, pylons, etc. on temple platform and for sphinxes and obelisks on each side of lower level of staircase.
Model of a Temple Gateway, ca. 1290-1279 B.C.E. Quartzite, 9 1/2 x 44 x 34 in., 1025 lb. (24.1 x 111.8 x 86.4 cm, 464.9kg). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 49.183. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 49.183_transp1764.jpg)
overall, 49.183_transp1764.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.