Metropolitan Museum of Art Cast Collection
 
Relief from the Tomb of Ptahhotep: Domestic Cranes and Geese

Title

Relief from the Tomb of Ptahhotep: Domestic Cranes and Geese

Description

Plaster cast of a relief depicting cranes and geese in a small scene. Site of origin is the Tomb of Ptahhotep, Saqqara necropolis, Memphis, Egypt, circa 2400 BCE. (Old Kingdom, Dynasty V).

Publication Date

1978

Type of Artwork

Relief

Time Period/Geographical Region

Ancient Egypt

Height (cm/in)

49.53 cm / 19.5 in

Width (cm/in)

86.36 cm / 34 in

Depth (cm/in)

7.62 cm / 3 in

Disciplines

Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Sculpture

Comments

This relief sculpture of domestic geese and cranes is one of many images of animal husbandry in the Old Kingdom tomb of political official Ptahhotep at Saqqara. In the tomb, it is located directly below another cast owned by MSU, the Oxen Led to Sacrifice. The attempt to domesticate these birds was abandoned after the Old Kingdom. Like other animals in this period, they were sacrificed to the gods. The location of this tomb is a necropolis known as Saqqara, where pharaohs, members of the royal family, and important political figures were interred along with fine works of art such as this. Most tomb reliefs were painted; in photographs of Ptahhotep's tomb, you can see color used in the figures, especially the clothing and hair. The 1908 cast catalog from the Metropolitan Museum of Art incorrectly lists these reliefs as being from the Tomb of Ti, another important political official, at Saqqara.

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Relief from the Tomb of Ptahhotep: Domestic Cranes and Geese

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