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 Dynasty 12 to early Dynasty 13
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
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Inscribed Headrest, 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_NegA_print_bw.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"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.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.