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Pesesh-kef (Ritual Implement)

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This instrument was touched to the mummy’s mouth during the ritual called the “Opening of the Mouth.” The ritual ensured that the deceased became fully alive in the tomb and in the afterlife. This example, from Egyptian prehistory, is similar to those used for thousands of years during Egyptian funerals.
MEDIUM Obsidian
DATES ca. 3300-3100 B.C.E.
PERIOD Predynastic Period, Naqada III Period
DIMENSIONS 3 1/2 x 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. (8.9 x 0.6 x 16.5 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 35.1445
CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Pesesh-kef (Ritual Implement), ca. 3300-3100 B.C.E. Obsidian, 3 1/2 x 1/4 x 6 1/2 in. (8.9 x 0.6 x 16.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 35.1445. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 35.1445_front_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE front, 35.1445_front_PS2.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 Black obsidian instrument, either a forked lance or a peseshkef – wand. Edges finely serrated. Probably a ceremonial object. Condition: Broken and assembled from two pieces. Each side of base and top chipped. Probably ritual breakage.
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