Skip Navigation

Model of Ceremonial Mace Head

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Foundation Deposits

In addition to commissioning new buildings, Egyptian kings occasionally claimed existing structures such as temples or palaces as their own.


The most common way for a king to do this was to substitute his own name for that of the original builder in the inscriptions. When a king commissioned a new structure, he buried objects in the four corners of the foundation to be certain that the gods would remember the true builder and that later kings could not find and reinscribe them. These so-called foundation deposits usually included plaques with the king’s name, as well as models of objects used to erect the building, such as grinders, hoes, and rockers needed to move large stones.
MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Excavated: Lisht, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/4 x Diam. 1 15/16 in. (5.7 x 5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 59.199.2
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    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 contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply). 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 copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Model of Ceremonial Mace Head, ca. 1938-1759 B.C.E. Faience, 2 1/4 x Diam. 1 15/16 in. (5.7 x 5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.199.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.59.199.2_erg456.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.59.199.2_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/6/2007
    "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 Pear-shaped mace head in dark blue faience. Surface decorated in manganese with lotus petals; small circle in manganese at top center. Cylindrical opening for attachment on base. Condition: Intact. Scattered chips on upper body.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    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.