Category: old kingdom

Daily life scene Relief depicting a man milkin…

Daily life scene 

Relief depicting a man milking a cow, detail of a wall carving from the Mastaba of Kagemni. Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty,

reign of king Teti, ca. 2345-2333 BC. Saqqara Necropolis.

Khafre Enthroned Diorite statue of Khafre, …

Khafre Enthroned

Diorite statue of Khafre, king of the 4th Dynasty in the Old Kingdom in Egypt (around 2500 BC). It is now located in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Ancient Egyptian beadnet dress

Ancient Egyptian beadnet dress

Made of Egyptian faience. From Tomb G 7440 Z at Giza, excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition, 1927. 

Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, reign of King Khufu, ca. 2551-2528 BC. Now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Old Kingdom Hieroglyphs

Old Kingdom Hieroglyphs

Fragment of a relief from Mastaba of prince Nefermaat, Meidum. Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, ca. 2613-2494 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Statue of Snofrunefer Standing figure of th…

Statue of Snofrunefer

Standing figure of the high court official Snofrunefer. Painted limestone. Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty,

ca. 2494-2345 BC.

From the Mastaba of Snofrunefer,

Giza West Field.

Now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Menkaure Triad Menkaure was the builder of …

Menkaure Triad

Menkaure was the builder of what is known as the third pyramid, the smallest of the three pyramids at Giza in Egypt. 

The goddess Hathor is on his right and the personification of Cynopolis, the 17th nome of Upper Egypt, is on his left. He wears the crown of Upper Egypt and has a false beard. He wears the short pleated Shendyt kilt and holds two small cylindrical objects.

The two ladies wear tight fitting dresses and have three-part wigs. They each hold in one hand the Shen sign of power and embrace the king with the other hand.

Hathor wears her usual crown, composed of the sun disk between the two cow horns, while the other lady is placed beneath a jackal, the symbol of her nome.

The text engraved on the base identifies them and records the different offerings given to the king from the nome.

This sculpted triad, made of

graywacke, a three-person statue, shows King Menkaure between two ladies, Hathor and Cynopolis. Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, ca. 2613-2494 BC.

Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

JE 46499. Heritage Images.

The economy of Ancient Egypt laid the groundwo…

In the Old Kingdom, a period that stretches over roughly 500 years (2686–2181 BC), the economy was primarily agrarian and so heavily reliant on the Nile. The river inundated the fields along its banks and provided fertile silt. It also enabled the transport of commodities across the country.

Research suggests that the majority of the cultivated soils were part of large estates that were under the control of the crown, various temples, and wealthy estate owners, who were usually royal officials.

Such estates should not be regarded as entirely separate units but as intertwined. They were often part of the same redistribution network, ultimately responded to the king, and were, to a certain extent, reliant on the central state administration. This system may have also involved both formal and informal networks of redistribution and favors. The society of this period has been likened to a feudal system, such as that found in medieval Europe. Read more.

Interior of the Tomb of Meresankh IIIQueen M…

Interior of the Tomb of Meresankh III

Queen Meresankh III was the daughter of Hetepheres II and prince Kawab and a granddaughter of king Khufu. She was the wife of king Khafra.

Her tomb was discovered by archaeologist George Reisner on April 23, 1927, with subsequent excavations undertaken by his team on behalf of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Old Kingdom, 4th Dynasty, ca. 2613 to 2494 BC. Tomb G7530-5440, Giza.

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Statue of Kai and his children The statue…

Statue of Kai and his children

The statue shows Kai sitting on a high-backed chair. He wears a shoulder length wig, decorated with horizontal rows of curls. Each eye is framed in copper, while his eyebrows are in raised relief. The lips are thin and finely drawn. Below, he wears a wesekh (broad) collar, composed of seven horizontal bands of blue and green. Tear-shaped pendants hang from the final band of the collar, whilst a counterpoise can be seen at the back. The muscles of the body are well defined; his right arm is bent across the chest with his hand holding a folded cloth. The left arm is resting on his lap and he sports a short white kilt.

Five lines of inscription on the base of the statue provide Kai’s titles, including the Steward of the Great Estate. Kai’s daughter can be seen sitting at her father’s left leg; she is wearing a wig and a fitted white dress, as well as a wesekh-collar of three bands. Kai’s son can be seen standing, embracing the right leg of his father. He holds a finger to his mouth, a sign of childhood and has short, black hair.

Painted limestone. From Western Cemetery of the Giza Necropolis. Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, ca. 2494-2345 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.