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Showing posts from February 7, 2017

the pyramid of teti

The Sixth Dynasty rolled in like the thunderhead that portents a rising storm.  There had been tension between the royal line from which Teti descended and the one which had just vacated the throne.  Court officials had grown accustomed to wealth.  Provincial nobles were flexing their will to independence.  Famine.  Waves of refugees.  Ongoing religious reform.  Teti’s agenda could be summarized in two words–damage control.

Pharaoh Teti
Pharaoh Teti, also called Othoes, was the first king of the Sixth Dynasty, and ruled for about 11 – 20 years, between around 2347 – 2327 BC.  His mother was Queen Sesheshet, but his true claim to the throne probably stemmed from his marriage to Queen Iput I, the eldest daughter of Pharaoh Unas.  He had at least one other wife, named Khuit.  Evidence found within the queens’ pyramids suggest that Khuit may have actually been Teti’s primary wife.
Teti’s heir, Pepi I, was preceded on the throne by Userkare, whose short reign may indicate a c…

the pyramid of unas

the tomb of kagemni

a total of twenty porters arranged in two rows and which have the characteristic of being divided symmetrically into two sub-groups, by a visible middle line. Those of each half heading toward the nearest Kagemni figure, either on the north or south wall. In the upper part of the wall, can be found stacks of vases, chests, etc. These are also separated into north and south groups by the central dividing line. Yet again the upper registers only contain the blue-gray coloured background.

The sarcophagus bears the name and the titles of Kagemni. The plunderers displaced its lid. The limestone box section actually contained a wooden coffin with various remnants and bones belonging to the great nomarch, whose mummy had been smashed to steal the amulets and other precious objects which it contained. The excavators have found very little of the funeral furniture, primarily crockery. Canopic vases were also present, although broken

the tomb of kagemni

porters, are each surmounted by a broad band of sculpted hieroglyphs.
The porters of the bottom register carry in their hands a long unidentifiable object, and which has been speculated to be a roll of material . If this is the case, would it be so amazingly rigid? The men of the register above carry either large vases , or they carry something round which could be a necklace. Some of the men are designated priests of the Ka. Kagemni stands magnificently at the eastern end of
a great number and variety of vases; again with minimal colour other than that of the background.

he wall to receive the many gifts (

The Tomb of Kagemni

the procession of the porters
Six teams of men, distributed on the two lower registers, pull sledges laden with enormous vases of oil

They continue to the scenes on the north wall, heading for its eastern extremity where Kagemni awaits them. Each of these two registers is again surmounted by a broad band of hieroglyphs.
The upper registers are incomplete in places and all have very little colour. The two immediately above the porters, are of boxes containing even more vases, the one above these has a vast array of vases of various designs.

The tomb of Kagemni

It is raised above the level of the floor, and approached by a flight of steps. Its upper part is missing, but on the whole it remains very well preserved.
• Its right and left uprights are formed of three engraved panels, each being inset deeper toward the middle, achieving a stepped aspect. They each carry vertical columns of hieroglyphs, pointing out the deceased's titles, and his two names (Kagemni and Memi).
• The central, very narrow opening is painted in orange and is surmounted by a thin roller bearing the name of Kagemni. As in a terrestrial dwelling, this roller is the equivalent of the blind protecting an opening without door.
Through this opening, situated directly above of the underground funeral chambers, the Ka of Kagemni could leave and re-enter the sarcophagus, and come to satiate himself from the food offerings which were presented for him in front of the stela door.
If by misfortune his funerary cult should fall into oblivion, the Ka always had at …

The tomb of Kagemni

These have a symmetry of themes, even though variations of details exist. Both include

multiple porters with offerings, men or women, priests of the Ka, etc. All move towards the rear, where a seated Kagemni awaits them, with his back towards his false door

Among the multiple details which show the interest that the Egyptians often especially showed for the animal kingdom the period of the Old Kingdom -

 what should be noted is the precision of the representations. As for example: this hedgehog in cage, these small calves at play  but which doesn't stop them showing a dead calf being transported in a basket , etc. What does remain dubious, in front, is the representation of two ibexes in a basket: it is quite possible that it represents an ornamental accessory

The Tomb of Kagemni

a procession of porters with offerings, laden with fruits, with birds, with vases containing flowers, trays and baskets filled with breads, meats and vegetables intended the "ka of Memi". These continue on the following walls, in either a clockwise  or an anti-clockwise direction.

 Kagemni, who is illustrated receiving the products of the fields which are provided for his funerary worship. Thus he sees the procession of servants laden with the various goods approaching in front of him

 a new procession starts here, they actually continue towards the rear of the figure of Kagemni
  there are three sub-registers. The bottom row shows chests containing vases and on the left is a strange assembly including a fan and a flail resting on what can only be a bed. Above, the first row of men is constituted of scribes carrying different scolls. Note that in front of the first one of them has been added his name
Take note of the first three men in the top register and th…

The Tomb of kagemni

Kagemni seated in a sedan-chair, leaning nonchalantly on his right arm, while he holds a cane in the left hand, with the height of his shoulder. He wears a large necklace around his neck.
The chair is transported by 20 men laid out in two teams of ten, each one carries a stick while supporting a pole of the chair on his other shoulder .

Between the rows, a supervisor, cane in hand, is ready to make his respect. Note the enormous disproportion of the sizes between the Lord and his chair on the one hand, and the other characters on the other.
In front of and behind the palanquin (the covered sedan-chair), two men hold vertical poles which are in fact the handles of its canopy.

We possess an example of a sedan-chair of this type, that of queen Hetepheres, preserved at the Cairo museum.
  a great difference exists between the real size of the chairs and those that are sometimes represented. Certainly 20 men were not necessary to carry them.  The Egyptian centipede has only 4…

The tomb of Kagemni

This wall is badly damaged. It contains large-sized figure of Kagemni, with his wife Nebty-nebu-khet. The princess stands behind Kagemni, whilst in front can be found his son Teti-ankh, as a small character who holds his father's leg.
The characters receive the contributions of fish resulting from the activity of the servants in the marshes

The tomb of Kagemni

a)- First register
Here are two similar scenes of bird hunting, using a hexagonal net. The one of left is preserved particularly well
 Both nets have been stretched close to a pool. In each case, beside the poll, stands a solitary palm tree.
When sufficient number of birds are under the net, the man on the right gives the signal and, with his three friends in front of him, they pull violently on the rope, closing the net and trapping the fowl. A few survive, distraught, to escape from the trap

On the right, the second scene shows a very full net. The man situated on the right holds a piece of material between his outstretched arms, a signal perhaps for his hidden friends to pull the rope 

b)- Second register
This is dedicated to a scene of poultry farming.

Three bird cages are represented side by side, surrounded by nets and with a roof sustained by sticks with forked ends  In front of the first lot of poultry stands a character holding a bag of grain on his right shoulder, le…