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Pyramidion of a Woman

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Reliefs on four sides of this small pyramid from a woman’s tomb depict basic aspects of Egyptian belief. The deceased worships Osiris in the niche and Re on the back, the two major gods connected to the afterlife. On the right side, a human-headed bird representing the ba-soul, which travels outside the tomb, perches on a djed-pillar, a symbol of rebirth. The deceased is followed by two demigods. On the left side, the gods Horus and Thoth perform part of the funeral purification ritual on the deceased’s mummy.
MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1185-718 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XX Dynasty-XXII Dynasty
    PERIOD New Kingdom-Third Intermediate Period
    DIMENSIONS 8 9/16 x 8 1/16 x 5 1/8 in. (21.8 x 20.5 x 13 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 05.336
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Pyramidion of a Woman, ca. 1185-718 B.C.E. Limestone, 8 9/16 x 8 1/16 x 5 1/8 in. (21.8 x 20.5 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 05.336. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE side, side 2, 05.336_side2_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large yellow limestone Pyramidon belonging to a woman (name lost). Probably serving as the cap stone of her tomb. Two columns of hieroglyphs on left side of front; in the depression on front; on the depression on front the deceased is shown worshipping seated Osiris. On the right side there is a Ded symbol surmounted by a Ba Bird. The rest of the side is occupied by the figure of the woman preceded and followed by two genii. The left side has a representation of Thoth and Horus pouring water over a mummy-form figure, presumably, the deceased. On the back the deceased is shown worshipping a seated figure of Nephthys or Nut with outstretched wings. Condition: Upper left corner of from side badly chipped. Side worn and chipped, top chipped, entire piece chipped. On the left side considerable traces of red and black paint remain, especially on the Ded symbol.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
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