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Relief of the Royal Ka

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
According to Egyptian belief, the Royal Ka (soul) inhabited the legitimate king and migrated from the old to the new when the older king died. Some scholars have associated votive animal mummies with a ritual that strengthened the Royal Ka.

Here, an artist portrayed the Ka as a royal bust on a standard wearing a crown of ostrich feathers, cobras, and the short ram’s horns associated with Amun, king of the gods. The figure also wears a protective cobra on his forehead.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Made: Abydos, Egypt
  • DATES 381-343 B.C.E. or 186-145 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 30 or reign of Ptolemy VI
    PERIOD Late Period or Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 13/16 x 14 x 1 3/4 in. (25 x 35.5 x 4.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 67.69.2
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Relief of the Royal Ka, 381-343 B.C.E. or 186-145 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 9 13/16 x 14 x 1 3/4 in. (25 x 35.5 x 4.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 67.69.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 67.69.2_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 67.69.2_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragmentary limestone slab with sunk relief representation of a king's bust, wearing an anedjty crown, on a standard pole with streamers; bearded. On the right sa sign and fillet bandelet ending in uraeus with white crown. On the left head of Horus hawk with part of red crown, probably originally mounting a serekh and the royal ka. Much color left: crown, yellow and red, the same as royal bust. Traces of color in other parts of the relief. Condition: Lower edge probably ancient; all other sides fragmentary. Piece much discolored and somewhat chipped.
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     <em>Relief of the Royal Ka</em>, 381-343 B.C.E. or 186-145 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 9 13/16 x 14 x 1 3/4 in. (25 x 35.5 x 4.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 67.69.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 67.69.2_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)

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