Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tut's Throne - table and necklace

I added a small stylized table behind Ankhesenamun. Above is this round thing - it is a necklace. The ancient Egyptians showed objects on the table or in boxes above them - and depicted them straight from above.

There were so many tiny stones in this one it felt almost desperate to try to draw them all. But then I thought about the original artists who put this piece of art together one little stone or gold piece at a time - and decided I had it easy, after all!


  1. Leena

    Just curious, are those three wicker/cage-like ornaments in the crown "kheker" ornaments?

    If so, how common are they in ancient egyptian art?

    Bwana Papyrus (aka John Gaudet)

  2. Hi, Bwana :) (or John)

    Well they sure look like kheker... It was a pretty common ornament especially on top of walls. You can see it hacked into stone on top of outside walls as well as painted in tombs as a frieze that goes around the tomb as the topmost ornament in the wall, the last thing before the ceiling.

    I think the word "kheker" meant "ornament".

    I am not sitting here with my reference books, but I remember reading it was supposed to be a stylized representation of palm leaves, tied together. If this is so, it would make sense in the context of tombs. After all it was essential in the afterlife the deceased to be able to breathe -or else s/he could not live in the afterlife (Hence it was considered an effective way to get rid of an enemy once and for all eternity by destroying the noses of their statues, paintings or even better – their mummies).

    The same with pharaohs – it was essential he was offered the breath of life (gods giving the ankh-sign to the pharaoh).. So the position of the "fan-bearer of the king" was quite a high job - symbolically the act of wafting the fan (be it feathers or palm leaves) meant giving air / the breath of life to the pharaoh to breathe. (Not to mention the shadow of the fan which was also a part of the re-birth-belief of ancient Egypt: a shadow was created when the sun rose, thus representing the rebirth of the sun god Ra)

    But if kheker was a representation of these palm-leaves (and the symbolical "giving the breath of life"), was a kheker-frieze supposed to perform the same function in the tombs - or in the king's crown, I don't know. Maybe I'll ask my egyptology-friends around what they think. And dig into my reference books when I have a chance :) Very interesting question!!