November 19, 2005
For this project I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on at least four different occasions, September 20th being the first visit, the subsequent three I didn't write down. I chose to examine the Ancient Egypt civilization, which is extremely rich in everything from hieroglyphics and statues to jewelry and tombs.
The first item I examined was the royal acquaintance Memi and Sabu, from Dynasty 4 2575-2464 BCE. It is painted limestone out of Giza donated by the Rogers Fund in 1948. This statue evokes the intimacy of Memi and his companion, Sabu, although she is set somewhat apart by her oblique gaze. Until recently, the flowering of non royal statuary was believed to have occurred only in the 5th and 6th dynasties. Recent studies indicate however many of these non royal statues, including Memi and Sabu are better dated to the 4th dynasty, contemporary with great royal statuary programs. The early date for Memi and Sabu is based both on her coiffure and on the reciprocated embrace.
The next item was the head of a female personification of an estate. It is from the 4th dynasty, the reign of Khufu ca, 2551-2528 BCE. It is made of limestone probably from Giza out of the pyramid complex of Amenemhat. It was donated by the Rogers Fund and Edward Harkness in 1922. The upper part of a female figure is the personification of Khufu's agricultural estates. The placement of the pharaoh's name on a crossbar with feathery decorations and streamers at the back indicates that the figure has been assimilated to a standard. Estates were not new establishment settlements dedicated to providing for the funerary out of the founder of the temple. Rows of estate personification lining the walks of old kingdom pyramid temples represented the kings eternity.
I then observed a jar and bowl from the mid 4th to the 5th dynasty, during the reign of Khufu 2551-2528 BCE. They were both...