Egypt

Art of Ancient Egypt: A Resource for Educators by Watts, E. and Girsh, B. and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New

By Watts, E. and Girsh, B. and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) and Metropolitan Museum of Art Staff

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Note the recurrent representations of reed mats (shown as horizontal bars with vertical subdivisions), upon which high-status people sat and on which offerings were presented; protective cobras with sun-disk headdresses; floral designs; and the hieroglyphs for “stability” and “perBa Bird fect” (see pages 50, 51). On each side of the central band are five pairs of shrines whose roofs are adorned with protective cobras. Pillars in the shape of the hieroglyph djet, for stability, support the roofs.

Beneath the protective wings of Nut, vertical and horizontal yellow bands (again representing gold) cover the white mummy wrapping. On the center band hieroglyphs read: “Recitation by the Osiris, housemistress and chantress of Amun-Re, king of the gods, Henettawy, justified, who says: ‘O my mother Nut! ’” In the rectangular spaces between the bands Henettawy in a rich golden garment shakes a sistrum and prays to Osiris (the two uppermost scenes), the four sons of Horus stand behind altars with offerings (middle scenes), and Anubis, god of the cemetery and mummification, holds empowering scepters in the bottom scenes.

In the later years of his 46 reign Amarna art developed a graceful, softly naturalistic style (slides 22 and 23) that deeply influenced the art of the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Dynasties (“Post-Amarna” art; slides 24, 25, 26, and 37). Akhenaten’s attempt to transform Egyptian religion did not last beyond his reign. Shortly after becoming king, Akhenaten’s heir, Tutankhaten (“living image of Aten”), changed his name to Tutankhamun (“living image of Amun”; slide 23) and reestablished the cult of Amun and other gods.

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