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Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

An obelisk, a tapered shaft with a pyramidal top, symbolized the sun god. It was also an important symbol of eternity in ancient Egypt, where huge stone obelisks were erected in temples. This small example, made for a tomb, may have held a papyrus scroll. The text painted on the sides names the gods of the dead.
MEDIUM Wood, pigment
  • Reportedly From: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES 664–332 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Late Period (probably)
    DIMENSIONS Height: 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Archaeological provenance not yet documented, reportedly from Giza, Egypt; by 1852, collected in Egypt by Henry Abbott of Cairo, Egypt and New York, NY; 1859, purchased from Henry Abbott by the New-York Historical Society, New York, NY; 1937, loaned by the New-York Historical Society to the Brooklyn Museum; September 1948, purchased from the New-York Historical Society by the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Painted wooden obelisk (a papyrus container, or reliquary?), a column of black hieroglyphics reading: '….Hpy ink sA-k wsir mn….'.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Obelisk, 664–332 B.C.E. Wood, pigment, Height: 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1723E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.1723E_view01_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.1723E_view01_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2023
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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