What is this?
40.126.1 "Plaque with the Name of Amenhotep III"
Amenhotep III was an "expansionist" ruler -- he was in charge of the Egyptian empire at a high point in its political, economic, and cultural power. He also made some important changes to Egyptian religion and built many new temples.
Another note about the plaque -- you'll see other objects made of bright-blue faience throughout the Egyptian galleries -- including jewelry and bowls. It's the bright blue pottery-like substance -- made with earth/mineral ingredients that give it its color. It may have been meant to imitate precious stones with blue colors -- like lapis lazuli -- but it's human-made.
What is this?
This faience plaque is imprinted with the name of the king Amunhotep III. He was a powerful and prosperous ruler who reigned during the prestigious 18th Dynasty. You can see numerous other objects made during his reign nearby.
Faience was an extremely popular material for small, decorative objects in Ancient Egypt. It's a quartz-based paste that's molded and then fired at a high temperature. Faience is naturally sparkling white so it takes color and glazes very well making it easy to achieve the brilliant blues you see here imitating lapis lazuli (the darker blue) and turquoise (the lighter blue) two semi-precious stones.
Can you tell me more about this plaque? I wonder what was for.
We don't know the exact purpose of this plaque unfortunately.
But we do know that is was likely an object of value because of the material it was made out of called faience. It was an extremely popular material for small, decorative objects and imitates the blue of lapis lazuli, an extremely expensive and valuable blue stone.
It looks very "modern." I never realised that it should imitate Lapis Lazuli. Good to know!
It reflects the extravagance of the king Amunhotep III. It does doesn't it? The Egyptians were in many ways, ahead of their time aesthetically I think.
Thanks, have a nice day!