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Ceremonial Saw in the Shape of a Maat-feather

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
The unusual shape of this saw’s handle is a reproduction of a Ma`at -feather (an ostrich plume signifying “truth”). This shape suggests that the saw was used for ceremonial purposes, such as preparing meat for sacrifice to a god.
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1353-1336 B.C.E.
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 12 3/8 x 1 5/8 in. (31.5 x 4.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Ceremonial Saw in the Shape of a Maat-feather, ca. 1353-1336 B.C.E. Bronze, 12 3/8 x 1 5/8 in. (31.5 x 4.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 65.133. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.65.133_erg456.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 5/20/2008
    "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 Knife-like cutting instrument in bronze consisting of a blade in shape of the m,.t-feather with a finely serrated edge and of a handle in the form of a curved papyrus bundle with umbel, the latter bearing a ring of suspension; all in one piece. Condition: Good although slightly corroded and discolored in spots. Traced of bronze disease.
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    Ceremonial Saw in the Shape of a Maat-feather