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Swamp Scene

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Swamp Scene demonstrates the ideal for representations in tombs in two-dimensional painted reliefs. Originally located in a tomb, this scene in a swamp magically supplied the products of the marsh, such as fish, to the deceased in the afterlife.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Excavated: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2500–2170 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 5 to Dynasty 6
    PERIOD Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 15 x 35 x 2 in. (38.1 x 88.9 x 5.1 cm) with mount: 73.5 lb. (33.34kg)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 69.115.2a-b
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Two adjoining portions of a brightly painted relief representation of a scene in a swamp. Represented on both blocks are two bands of water: near the bottom a narrow band painted green and above this, filling the field, blue water. On the block to the left, which is the smaller of the two, the green band serves as a field for representations of a hippo giving birth (only partially preserved) and a fish (also only partially preserved). In the blue field is preserved part of a representation of the forward part of a papyrus skiff, part of the leg and foot of a person in the skiff (the leg and part of the foot of a person have been erased) and a fish. On the piece to the right are represented fish and a small half-boat in which a figure sits fishing. The half-boat, figure in it, and the fish he is catching, lie below the surface of the stone and are later, but ancient, additions. The blue paint is either less well preserved or was never complete at the right end of the right block. Below the band of painted green water is, on both fragments, a line of hieroglyphs which refer to a scene which once appeared below them. Condition: Paint only partially preserved; numerous chips and scratches; rear surface cut away unevenly.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Swamp Scene, ca. 2500–2170 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 15 x 35 x 2 in. (38.1 x 88.9 x 5.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 69.115.2a-b. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.115.2a-b_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 69.115.2a-b_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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