Relief with a Ship Scene
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The incomplete scene at the top of this fragment of a relief from a tomb shows the legs of two butchers and the massive body of the steer they are cutting up to make offerings of meat for the spirit of the tomb owner.
In the separate scene below, a sailor climbs the rigging of a billowing sail. Ancient ships traveled up the Nile (that is, south) with sails raised, because the prevailing winds came from the north. When going downstream, the crew lowered the mast and used their oars. Two crew members are partially preserved at the bottom edge. One appears to be waving at the climber and shouting the warning inscribed above him, which reads, “Look out for the rope!”
ca. 2500-2350 B.C.E.
23 3/4 x 17 5/16 in. (60.3 x 43.9 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Relief with a Ship Scene, ca. 2500-2350 B.C.E. Limestone, 23 3/4 x 17 5/16 in. (60.3 x 43.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 35.640. Creative Commons-BY
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 7/9/2008
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Fragment of limestone raised relief from a mastaba. Subject: sailor climbing rigging of a vessel. Above, remains of register of slaughtering scene; at right incomplete column of hieroglyphs.
Condition: Preserved portion in good condition. Various minor scratches on edges and parts of the surface are pitted. Very faint traces of red and yellow paint still noticeable on background.
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