Headrest of Shemai
This headrest—the Egyptian version of a pillow—was found in the tomb of a man named Shemai. Headrests were believed to have magical powers that protected the head from evil spirits. The inscription on this example invokes Osiris, god of the afterworld, suggesting that Shemai had it made specifically for his tomb.
- Medium: Egyptian alabaster
- Place Made: Deir el Nawahid, Egypt
- Dates: ca. 2288-2170 B.C.E.
- Dynasty: VI Dynasty
- Period: Old Kingdom
- Dimensions: 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm) Base: 6 3/16 x 2 3/4 in. (15.7 x 7 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
- Accession Number: 59.3
- Credit Line: Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Headrest of Shemai, ca. 2288-2170 B.C.E. Egyptian alabaster, 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.3. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Best (86%)