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发表于 2008-1-8 19:59 |显示全部楼层
再开一帖,,希望大家喜欢..看后请帮顶为盼,,谢谢

[ 本帖最后由 想学瓷器2 于 2008-1-31 17:03 编辑 ]
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Breccia statue of the goddess Taweret



A household deity



From Egypt
Late Period, after 600 BC



Taweret was a fierce goddess who protected the mother and child during childbirth. Unlike most goddesses, she had no human elements, consisting instead of the head and body of a hippopotamus, the tail of a crocodile and the legs of a lioness. All these creatures were renowned for aggressively protecting their young.

Births usually took place inside the home, so Taweret was considered a household deity. No large-scale temples were dedicated to the goddess, instead figures of her were placed on the household altar that was part of every home. These figures were amulets and guaranteed the protection of the goddess against malign forces that might threaten the household, especially its children. These statues were generally small and often made of wood or clay.

Larger statues of Taweret are unusual as stone statues on a monumental scale were generally placed within temples. Kings, and later private individuals, sometimes dedicated statues of deities, or of themselves holding deities, to show their devotion to a god. The dedication of a figure of Taweret might have been to gain her favour in a forthcoming birth, or in thanks for her intervention in a recent one.

A. Siliotti (ed.), Viaggiatori veneti alla scoper (Venezia, Arsenale editrice, 1985)
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:00 |显示全部楼层
Bronze arched sistrum with Hathor head decoration



Music for the gods



From Egypt
Late Period, after 600 BC



The sistrum was basically a rattle comprising an arch (an inverted U-shaped section) with a handle attached. The arch had a number of cross pieces onto which were threaded metal discs. When the sistrum was shaken, the discs rattled. The top of the handle was often decorated with the head of Hathor, patron of music. The instrument, carried in tomb and temple scenes, indicated devotion to Hathor, and symbolized adoration in general. The similarity between the shape of the sistrum and that of the ankh meant that, like the ankh, it came to represent life.

The sistrum was used in Egyptian festivals and was often played by temple songstresses. Shaking the sistrum probably marked the division of the phrases in adulatory hymns. It was believed that the sound of rattling also drove off malign forces, preventing them from spoiling the festival.

The sistrum continued to be used in Egypt well after the rule of the pharaohs. By the time of the Greek author Plutarch, around the first or second century AD, the arch of the sistrum had come to symbolise the lunar cycle and the sistrum's bars, the elements. The Hathor heads were interpreted as Isis and Nephthys, who represented life and death respectively. In ceremonies of the Coptic period, priests extended the sistrum to the four cardinal points to indicate the power of god.

R.D. Anderson, Catalogue of Egyptian Antiqu-2 (London, The British Museum Press, 1976)
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:01 |显示全部楼层
Bronze bowl



Decorated with rearing cobra and ankh motifs



From the Meroitic cemetery at Faras, Sudan
1st-3rd century AD



This bowl was made from a metal sheet, beaten into shape over a mould or rod-anvil. Bronze and copper become very brittle when beaten. To keep the metal supple it was heated it in a furnace while it was worked. The cobra and ankh decorations were added once the vessel had been shaped, using a chisel and hammer-stone.

Amulets were often used for decoration. The rearing cobra represented the eye of Re, a force that the god sent to destroy his enemies. As the uraeus it was placed on the brow of the king to protect him and show his divine status. It was also placed on the head-dresses of the gods to indicate their divinity. The motif was used on furniture and other objects as both a decorative and a protective feature.

The ankh, representing 'life', is possibly a schematic drawing of a sandal strap. The ankh is often presented to the king by the gods in temple scenes. It was used as a motif in friezes and on furniture and vessels. The ankh amulet was also placed among the bandages of mummies, but was rarely worn by the living.

J.H. Taylor, Egypt and Nubia (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

M. Stead, Egyptian life (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:04 |显示全部楼层
Bronze branding iron



For marking cattle



Perhaps from Thebes, Egypt
18th Dynasty or later, after 1550 BC



Cattle were the most common domesticated animal in ancient Egypt. Ordinary people kept them chiefly for their milk and for traction. Large herds were kept by the estates of the king, noblemen and temples. Brands like this one were used to identify the owner of the animals. The lioness head on the brand suggests that it was used to mark cattle belonging to a temple of the goddess Sekhmet.

The animals were slaughtered and offered to the deity as part of the temple ritual. The meat was later divided up between the priests and temple officials as part of their pay. In this way the sacrificed animals provided food for the gods, and for those who served the gods within the temples.

Meat was a luxury food for most people, perhaps only eaten on special occasions such as funerary banquets. Cuts of meat are often shown among the wealth of produce on offering tables in tomb decoration, and on stelae, as eternal sustenance for the owner.

H.W. Müller, Der Waffenfund von Balâta-Sich (Munich, Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften In Kommission bei C.H. Beck, 1987)

M. Stead, Egyptian life (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:06 |显示全部楼层
Bronze figure of a seated cat



The sacred representation of the goddess Bastet



From Saqqara, Egypt
Late Period, after 600 BC



The domesticated cat is probably associated more with ancient Egypt than any other culture in the world. This cat is a particularly fine example of the many statues of cats from ancient Egypt. It has gold rings, a silvered collar round its neck and a silver protective wedjat eye amulet.

The cat is mostly identified with the goddess Bastet, whose cult centre was at Bubastis in the Nile Delta. Bubastis became particularly important when its rulers became the kings of Egypt, forming the Twenty-second Dynasty, sometimes known as the 'Libyan Dynasty'. The rise of the importance of Bastet and the cat can probably be dated to this period.

As with other creatures sacred to particular deities, it became very popular in the Late Period (661-332 BC) to bury mummies of cats in special cemeteries as a sign of devotion to the goddess. A number of cat cemeteries are known from Egypt. See, for example, a cat mummy dating to the first century AD from Abydos.

This sculpture is now known as the Gayer-Anderson cat, after its donor to The British Museum.

J. Malek, The cat in ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)

J. Clutton-Brock, The British Museum book of cat (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:07 |显示全部楼层
Bronze figure of Apis, the sacred bull



An offering to Ptah



Probably from Lower Egypt
Late Period, after 600 BC



Many animals play a part in the religious life of ancient Egypt. The sacred bull of Apis is one of the best known. The Apis bull had a cult centre at Memphis and was seen by the Egyptians as one of the manifestations on earth of the god Ptah.

When an Apis bull died, it was embalmed. The large tables used for embalming the bulls have survived near the modern centre of Memphis. The mummified bull was buried at Saqqara. From the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC) onwards, burials took place at the Serapeum, a maze of large underground caverns in the desert. Each bull had its own huge sarcophagus, which was placed in one of these underground chambers. The dates of each bull's birth and death were recorded, and the information has often survived, carved on stone stelae set into the walls of the burial place.

A prospective new Apis bull was required to have a white crescent on one side of its body or a white triangle on its forehead, signifying its unique character and its acceptance by the gods. Once the Apis bull was chosen, its mother was also honoured, and buried in catacombs at Saqqara set aside for the purpose.

This bronze statuette is a votive offering, presented to the god as an expression of devotion, with the hope that the god would look kindly on the donor. The statuette might have been deposited in the Serapeum and the sun disc and uraeus on the bull's head show the divinity of the animal.

G. Robins, The art of ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:08 |显示全部楼层
Bronze figure of Harpokrates



Horus the child



From Egypt
Late Period, after 600 BC



The name Harpokrates is the Hellenized version of the Egyptian phrase meaning 'Horus the child'. Harpokrates was a form of the god Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. He was represented as a naked child, with a sidelock of youth and his finger to his mouth. He is often shown on the lap of his enthroned mother, in bronze statue groups of the Late Period (661-332 BC), when these deities were particularly popular. They were seen as members of the ideal family, consisting of Osiris, Isis and Harpokrates.

According to myth, Isis revived her murdered husband Osiris to conceive a child. She fled to the Delta to give birth, hiding from her brother Seth, who was intent on seizing the throne of Egypt. When her son, Harpokrates, was born he was attacked by snakes, crocodiles and scorpions sent by his uncle. He was protected by the gods, and given power over dangerous creatures. This figure of Harpokrates was originally seated on a throne, or perhaps on the lap of his mother. Isis was revered for her magical abilities, and the power that Harpokrates had over dangerous animals meant that both were regarded as protective deities.
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:08 |显示全部楼层
Outer coffin of the priest Hornedjitef



A giant anthropoid (human-shaped) coffin



From the burial of Hornedjitef at Thebes, Egypt
Early Ptolemaic Period, around 220 BC



Hornedjitef was a priest in the Temple of Amun at Karnak during the reign of Ptolemy III (246-222 BC). His high status is reflected in his elaborate funerary equipment, which is typical of a high-ranking dignitary of Thebes in the third century BC. CT scans of the mummy show that Hornedjitef was a mature man at his death. His body showed signs of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, indicating that he might have reached an advanced age.

The form and decoration of Hornedjitef's coffins are in keeping with traditional Egyptian practice. The massive outer coffin stands on a plinth. The reason for its huge size may have been to indicate Hornedjitef's wealth and high status, or to protect the burial from robbery.

The decoration is fairly simple, as was traditional with outer coffins. The surface is painted black, with details, such as the eyes and garland around the neck, picked out in yellow. Black was associated with Osiris, and was seen as a colour of regeneration and fertility. The decoration includes the figures of Isis and Nephthys, mourning over the deceased. The inscriptions are spells from the Book of the Dead.
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发表于 2008-1-8 20:10 |显示全部楼层
Height: 21.200 cm



Acquired by the British Museum in 1839


EA 10182/2

Enlightenment: Decipherment

A poem on papyrus



One of the first pieces of Egyptian literature read by Champollion



Probably from Memphis, Egypt
19th Dynasty, 1204 BC



Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832), the French scholar who first deciphered ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs in the nineteenth century, based his work on the study of surviving written documents and inscriptions in stone.

On his way to visit Egypt for the first time, Champollion visited the collections of François Sallier (1764-1831), a Revenue official in Aix-en-Provence, France. He studied several rolls of papyri there, including this one, which he identified (partly correctly) as 'types of odes or litanies in praise of a Pharaoh'. A note on one sheet states that it was 'stuck onto fourteen squared sheets by Champollion at M. Sallier's in the month of Febuary 1830' on his return from Egypt, two years after he had first viewed the papyrus. The papyrus is one of several purchased by the British Museum in 1839 after Sallier's death.

The manuscript is written in hieratic, a cursive form the hieroglyphic script. It contains a junior scribe's copy of a classic poem, The Teaching of King Amenemhat I, written seven centuries earlier. The red dots mark the ends of lines of verse, while the signs in the top margin are the scribe's own corrections. It was written by a treasury scribe called Inena, who copied the papyrus in 'Year 1, month 1 of Winter, day 20' under Sety II (1204 BC).

R.B. Parkinson, The Tale of Sinuhe and other a (Oxford University Press, 1997)
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