Handle of Model Ax Inscribed for Amunhotep III
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
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.
ca. 1390–1352 B.C.E.
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Handle of a model axe made of lapis lazuli. The handle, when seen in section, has two convexly curved sides which come together to form two pointed, sharp edges. The smaller end of the handle has a rectangular hole into which the shaft of the axe would have been inserted. The other end broadens, with all sides of the handle curving outwards concavely, and with the end curving convexly. Inscribed on this larger end is the name of Amenhotep III, in very shallow plain-incised hieroglyphs.
Condition: Hole for insertion of shaft is filled with dirt; otherwise good.
Handle of Model Ax Inscribed for Amunhotep III, ca. 1390–1352 B.C.E. Lapis lazuli, 1 15/16 x 1 3/8 in. (4.9 x 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.280E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.280E_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
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