Metropolitan Museum of Art Cast Collection
 
Relief from the Tomb of Mereruka: Milking Scene

Title

Relief from the Tomb of Mereruka: Milking Scene

Description

Plaster cast of a portion of a relief panel from the Tomb of Mereruka. Site of origin is the Tomb of Mereruka, Saqqara necropolis, Memphis, Egypt, circa Dynasty VI of the Old Kingdom.

Publication Date

1978

Type of Artwork

Relief

Time Period/Geographical Region

Ancient Egypt

Height (cm/in)

34.29 cm / 13.5 in

Width (cm/in)

96.52 cm / 38 in

Depth (cm/in)

7.62 cm / 3 in

Disciplines

Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Sculpture

Comments

At the left, a figure milks a cow while her calf stands nearby. This common practice in ancient Egypt was believed to cause the cow to produce more milk. The cow's rear legs are tethered together, so as not to kick the man squatting beneath it. At the right of the relief, a figure seems to be gathering plants for the animals to eat. Scenes of daily life, especially scenes of sustenance–hunting, fishing, animal husbandry, etc– were often depicted in tombs as a way to ensure that the deceased would have the comforts of the living world in the afterlife. Mereruka, the man for whom the tomb is named, was son-in-law to the Pharaoh Teti, and enjoyed a life of luxury, much of which is depicted on the walls of his burial complex.

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Relief from the Tomb of Mereruka: Milking Scene

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