Headrest in Three Parts Inscribed for Khet
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The standard Egyptian headrest—the equivalent of the modern pillow—consisted of a curved neck support atop a pillar on an oblong base. When a head rested on a support, the combination of round and curved forms resembled the morning sun rising between two peaks, which is also the hieroglyph for “horizon.” Thus the sleeper was connected to the sunrise, a potent symbol of resurrection. Some modern Africans, particularly in Mali and Kenya, still sleep on headrests identical in design to ancient Egyptian examples.
ca. 1818-1700 B.C.E.
late XII Dynasty-early XIII Dynasty
9 x 9 3/8 x 4 7/16 in. (22.8 x 23.8 x 11.2 cm) (show scale)
Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
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Headrest in Three Parts Inscribed for Khet, ca. 1818-1700 B.C.E. Wood, 9 x 9 3/8 x 4 7/16 in. (22.8 x 23.8 x 11.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 14.650. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.14.650_erg2.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 11/26/2007
"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.
Wooden headrest in three parts with octagonal pillar inscribed in two columns with name and titles of Ht (Khet).
Condition: One side of base has large gap; pillar badly split, rest chipped at one end. The headrest seems to be a re-used piece as the surfaces now containing inscriptions have very obviously been cut down, presumably to efface an earlier inscription.
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