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the tomb of Kagemni

 
 Kagemni, of whom only his feet remain, appears standing upright on a papyrus boat, itself slipping in the dense papyrus lined marshes whose plants are represented by upright stems. He is evidently fishing in the marshes. In front of him appears a small boat, also of papyrus, which transports three men dressed in a narrow belt and a flap of material allowing freedom of movement, which normally acts as a loincloth to cover their sex and save embarressment 
 
The one of the rear, squatting on his heels, directs the frail craft. The one of the middle throws a line with several fishhooks (several different species of fish can be seen approaching). At the front, a character obviously makes a considerable effort to raise a heavy hooped net of fish. His minimal loincloth is raised around his shoulders. Among the represented species are: carp, mulet, mormyridae (elephant fish), catfish, synodontes, tilapia .... These Nile perch (which are nowadays still found at our fishmongers) are also perfectly identifiable; there are also eels.
 
Notice how far the artist/craftsman has taken the detail: on the branches immediately
 
 in front of the boat, can be seen a frog, a grasshopper dragonfly


Other representations of the same type are present Some dangerous animals can also be seen in this hostile environment, where the order required by Ma'at doesn't reign; so there is a battle between crocodiles  and crocodiles hunting fish, one among them having made a large catch .
 
The composition shows well the panic of the potential victims, who flee in all directions. Because there is an obvious immediate reading for this scene, it is necessary to imagine secondary symbolic one. The marsh is the border zone between the unorganised environment (or Isfet) and the semi-organised one of Egyptian men, in accordance with the will of the gods (this is the zone of Ma'at). While hunting the wild animals, these are also the demons which are hunted and which are thus prevented from penetrating into the most intimate parts of the tomb.
















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