Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2014

Facsimiles of Egyptian Wall Paintings

Ipuy and Wife Receive Offerings from Their Children (substantially restored)
New Kingdom, Ramesside, Dynasty 19, reign of Ramesses II, ca. 1279–1213 B.C.
Norman de Garis Davies (1865–1941, Egyptian Expedition Graphic Section)
Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Deir el-Medina (Deir el-Medineh)
Rogers Fund, 1930 (30.4.114)

The Tomb of Family Members of Menkheperre, High Priest of Amun (MMA 60)

Egypt's New Kingdom ended in about 1070 B.C. with the death of Ramesses XI, last king of Dynasty 20. This was followed by several centuries of divided rule known as the Third Intermediate Period. At the beginning of this time, in Dynasty 21, power was shared by a family of pharaohs who were centered at Tanis in the eastern Delta, and by the High Priests of the god Amun at Thebes, who also used the title "king."
During the long tenure of the fourth High Priest of Amun, Menkheperre (ca. 1045–992 B.C.), a tomb was carved into the rocky slope just north of the enclosure wall of Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri. This tomb was used over a number of generations by Menkheperre's family, but eventually it was entered by ancient robbers. Over the millennia, tons of debris washed into the tomb and when it was discovered in the late winter of 1924, it took many days of digging through compacted sand and crumbling rock before the Museum's excavators foun…

Lower Asasif, Thebes

In the second half of the Middle Kingdom (about 1900–1800 B.C.), a large tomb with a pillared portico and courtyard was carved into the bedrock at the eastern end of the Asasif valley in western Thebes. Eventually, the original burials were looted and the tomb itself was adapted for reuse as a cemetery that was active for several generations around the beginning of the New Kingdom (ca. 1550 B.C.). This cemetery was covered over early in the joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III (ca. 1470 B.C.), when the courtyard was filled and a causeway leading to Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri was constructed.

In the early twentieth century, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered and excavated the northern half of the courtyard. A few years later, in the 1915–16 season, Ambrose Lansing, who oversaw the Metropolitan Museum's excavations during World War I, cleared the southern half of the courtyard. Lansing's efforts were rewarded with the discovery of nume…

the hunting of the oxen

Beer and brewery in ancient Egypt

It is no exaggeration to say that beer was of central importance to ancient Egyptian society. Beer was enjoyed by both adults and children, was the staple drink of poor Egyptians but was also central to the diet of wealthy Egyptians. The gods were often made offerings of beer and beer was mentioned in the traditional offering formula. Wages were often paid in beer (and other supplies) and the workmen living in the workers village at Giza received beer three times a day as part of their rations.

There is some evidence that as a staple foodstuff, ancient Egyptian beer was not particularly intoxicating. Rather it was nutritious, thick and sweet.

"strongly influenced by the addition of fruit or spices as flavoring."

A beer strainer being used like a straw, straight from the beer jar! Beer, called hqt by the ancients and zythus by the Greeks, was a very important Egyptian drink. It was a drink for adults and children alike. It was the staple drink of the poor (wages we…