Survey of Art I History of Art

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Survey of Art I History of Art. Chapter One. Prehistoric Art The Stone Age Paleolithic Period. Paleolithic Period. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Survey of Art IHistory of Art

  • Chapter OnePrehistoric Art The Stone AgePaleolithic Period

  • Paleolithic PeriodPaleolithic cave paintings of Europe The Paleolithic Cave Temple is a testament to a sophisticated philosophical view of the world. Leroi-Gourhan discovered that there were altogether six distinct zones to the prehistoric Cavern Temple: the entrance, ambulatory, central chamber, passages, side chambers, and end chamber, each with their own distinct animal types and sex signs, grouped in a complex system of order and arrangement.

  • Paleolithic Period Joseph Robert Jochmans writes that Cro-Magnons may have spent time first in complete darkness, then gazed upon the painted images in the continually flickering flame of a candle or lamp burning animal fat. "Suddenly it would have been as if the animal figures had come alive, looking like they are actually breathing, and their hearts beating. Above in the light of the glowing, pulsing wall glimmerings a whole herd of ancient bison appears to move silently together deeper into the cavern, becoming guides directing the Initiate onwards. It seems clear, what was portrayed here was not the picture of the animals themselves, but the spiritual power of the animals as they are a part of the Spirit of All Things mirroring the One Spirit and the cosmic pattern of nature."

  • Ancient cave paintings from Zimbabwe done in the blood of animals killed for food on a ledge above the caves

  • LascauxMark-making was part of the Homo toolkit even as far back as the Lower Paleolithic, continuing through the Middle Paleolithic, and on to the Upper Paleolithic. The Upper Paleolithic, roughly 35,000 to 11,000 years ago, is the period from which the great bulk of Paleolithic artworks are known. Paleolithic art is a worldwide phenomenon, but at this point, the most extensively publicized Upper Paleolithic art is found in Europe, the most renowned of which are cave paintings like this horse from Lascaux, France

  • Cave painting of a bull and a horse; in Lascaux Grotto, near Montignac, France.

  • The reason for the paintings remains unknown. Sometimes representing animals that might have been hunted, but perhaps being animals that were considered sacred for some reason, we can now only speculate what prompted man 30,000 years ago to take a small candle to the deep recesses of a cave and paint on the walls.

  • Timeline of Prehistoric Man in France

    Approximate DateStage of development of man950,000-80,000 BCHomo Erectus, earliest man found in France ...400,000 BCDiscovery of Fire80,000-30,000 BCNeanderthal Man33,000-10,000 BCHomo Sapiens - Cro Magnon Man, found in Dordogne4,000-2,500 BCNeolithic revolution - settled locations, grew crops, kept animals

  • Auk. Casquer cave, Cap Morgiou, France. C. 16,500 BC. Charcoal and manganese dioxide on limestone

  • Paintings in Lascaux cave, Franceca. 15,000-13,000 B.C.Hall of the Bulls

  • Exhibit of Paintings in Lascaux cave

  • TermsRelief Sculpture - the surrounding material is carved away forming a background that sets off the figure.Sculpture in the Round a sculpture that can be viewed from every side.

  • Lamp with ibex desighn, from La Mouthe, Dordogne, France. 15,000-13,000 bce. Engraved stone, 6 3/4 x 4 3/4"

  • Lion-Human, from Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany. C. 30,000-26,000 bce. Mammothe ivory, height 11 5/8 Inches.

  • Venus of Willendorf, Austriaca. 22,000-21,000 B.C.E.

  • Woman from Ostrava Petrkovice, Czech Republicca. 23,000 B.C.E.

  • Woman from Brassempouy, Franceca. 22,000 B.C.E.

  • Bison from Le Tuc dAudoubert Cave, Franceca. 13,000 B.C.E.

  • TermsTwisted Perspective Horns, eyes, and hooves are shown as seen from the front, yet heads and bodies are rendered in profile.

  • Chauvet CaveThe earliest known site of prehistoric cave painting today, Discovered in December 1994. Southern France.Footprints in the cave left in the soft clay still exists from a small boy.The charcoal used to draw the rhinos has been radiocarbon dated to 32,410 years ago plus or minus 720 years.

  • Lascaux

  • Dating of Art and ArtifactsRelative dating chronological relationships among objects.Absolute dating determines a precise span of calendar years when artifact was createdRadiometric dating measures the degree to which radioactive materials have disintegrated over time.

  • Dating of Art and ArtifactsPotassium-argon dating measures the decay of a radioactive potassium isotope into a stable isotope of argon, an inert gas.Thermo-luminescence dating measures irradiation of the crystal structure of a material subjected to fire, such as pottery.Electro spin resonance technique that involves using magnetic field and microwave irradiation to date a material such as tooth enamel.

  • Materials used for Cave PaintingsBrushes made from animal hair, crushed twigs or pads of fur or moss (this is all based on pure speculation and modern experiments, since none of these tools have survived)Spray painting techniques even appear to have been used in some cases, by mixing pigment with water and spraying it either directly from their mouths or through tubes made out of animal bones, bamboo or reeds (Australian aboriginals still use this method today).

  • MaterialsPrehistoric painters used the pigments available in the vicinity. These pigments were the so-called earth pigments, (minerals limonite and hematite, red ochre, yellow ochre and umber), charcoal from the fire (carbon black), burnt bones (bone black) and white from grounded calcite (lime white).

  • Historians believe that the lumps were ground into a fine powder on the caves natural stone hollows, where stains have been observed. Shoulder and other bones of large animals, stained with color, have been discovered in the caves and presumed to have been used as mortars for pigment grinding. The pigment was made into a paste with various binders, including water, vegetable juices, urine, animal fat, bone marrow, blood, and albumen.

  • Skara Brae

    Neolithic Architecture

  • The Neolithic settlement known as Skara Brae came to light after heavy storms in 1850 washed away part of the dunes that had been protecting the remains for around 5000 years. What the waves revealed was the best preserved prehistoric village in northern Europe. The village was in continuous use for 600 years between 3100 BC and 2500 BC Skara Brae

  • Skara Brae - Mainland, Orkney Prehistoric Settlement

  • TermsRidgepole center support pole of prehistoric architectureWattle and Daub branches woven in a basketlike pattern for wall structuresThatch plant material used to roof prehistoric structuresCorbeling layering of stone that slants slightly inward.Corbel vault walls that are corbeled that intersect at the top to create a room.

  • Stonehenge

  • Stonehenge In its first phase, Stonehenge was a large earthwork; a bank and ditch arrangement called a henge, constructed approximately 5,000 years ago. It is believed that the ditch was dug with tools made from the antlers of red deer and, possibly, wood. The underlying chalk was loosened with picks and shoveled with the shoulder blades of cattle. It was then loaded into baskets and carried away.

  • Stonehenge: Phase I (2950-2900 BCE)

  • Phase II (c. 2900-2400 BCE)After 2900 BCE and for approximately the next 500 years (until 2400 BCE), post holes indicate timber settings in the centre of the monument and at the north-eastern entrance. The Aubrey Holes no longer held posts but were partially filled, some with cremation deposits added to the fill. The numerous post holes indicate timber structures but no clear patterns or configurations are discernible that would suggest their shape, form, or function.

  • StonehengeThe Bluestones About 2,000 BC, the first stone circle (which is now the inner circle), comprised of small bluestones, was set up, but abandoned before completion. The stones used in that first circle are believed to be from the Prescelly Mountains, located roughly 150-240 miles away, at the southwestern tip of Wales. The bluestones weigh up to 4 tons each and about 80 stones were used, in all. Given the distance they had to travel, this presented quite a transportation problem.

  • Stonehenge: Phase III, (c. 2550-1600 BCE)

  • ConstructionModern theories speculate that the stones were dragged by roller and sledge from the inland mountains to the headwaters of Milford Haven. There they were loaded onto rafts, barges or boats and sailed along the south coast of Wales, then up the Rivers Avon and Frome to a point near present-day Frome in Somerset. From this point, so the theory goes, the stones were hauled overland, again, to a place near Warminster in Wiltshire, approximately 6 miles away. From there, it's back into the pool for a slow float down the River Wylye to Salisbury, then up the Salisbury Avon to West Amesbury, leaving only a short 2 mile drag from West Amesbury to the Stonehenge site.

  • Construction of the Outer Ring The giant sarsen stones (which form the outer circle), weigh as much as 50 tons each. To transport them from the Marlborough Downs, roughly 20 miles to the north, is a problem of even greater magnitude than that of moving the bluestones. Most of the way, the going is relatively easy, but at the steepest part of the route, at Redhorn Hill, modern work studies estimate that at least 600 men would have been needed just to get each stone past this obstacle.

  • Once on site, a sarsen stone was prepared to accommodate stone lintels along its top surface. It was then dragged until the end was over the opening of the hole. Great levers were inserted under the stone and it was raised until gravity made it slide into the hole.

  • At this point, the stone stood on about a 30 angle from the ground. Ropes were attached to the top and teams of men pulled from the other side to raise it into the full upright position. It was secured by filling the hole at its base with small, round packing stones. At this point, the lintels were lowered into place and secured vertically by mortice and tenon joints and horizontally by tongue and groove joints. Stonehenge was probably finally completed around 1500 BC.

  • Who Built Stonehenge?

    The question of who built Stonehenge is largely unanswered, even today. The monument's construction has been attributed to many ancient peoples throughout the years, but the most captivating and enduring attribution has been to the Druids.

  • This erroneous connection was first made around 3 centuries ago by the antiquary, John Aubrey. Julius Caesar and other Roman writers told of a Celtic priesthood who flourished around the time of their first conquest (55 BC). By this time, though, the stones had been standing for 2,000 years, and were, perhaps, already in a ruined condition. Besides, the Druids worshipped in forest temples and had no need for stone structures.

  • The best guess seems to be that the Stonehenge site was begun by the people of the late Neolithic period (around 3000 BC) and carried forward by people from a new economy which was arising at this time. These "new" people, called Beaker Folk because of their use of pottery drinking vessels, began to use metal implements and to live in a more communal fashion than their ancestors. Some think that they may have been immigrants from the continent, but that contention is not supported by archaeological evidence. It is likely that they were indigenous people doing the same old things in new ways.

  • As Legend Has It

    The legend of King Arthur provides another story of the construction of Stonehenge. It is told that Merlin brought the stones to the Salisbury Plain from Ireland. Sometime in the fifth century, there had been a massacre of 300 British noblemen by the treacherous Saxon leader, Hengest. the high king, Aurelius Ambrosius, wanted to create a fitting memorial to the slain men. Merlin suggested an expedition to Ireland for the purpose of transplanting the Giant's Ring stone circle to Britain.

  • The stones were located on "Mount Killaraus" and were used as a site for performing rituals and for healing. Led by King Uther and Merlin, the expedition arrived at the spot in Ireland. They were dismantled and shipped back to Britain where they were set up around the mass grave of the murdered noblemen. The story goes on to tell that Aurelius, Uther and Arthur's successor, Constantine were also buried there in their time.

  • How Stonehenge may have looked originally

  • Inigo Jones, 'Stonehenge Restored' (1655)

  • Druidic Festival at Stonehenge (colored Italian engraving, 1820)

  • Sculptures and ceramicsFigures of a woman and manCernovoda, Romania c. 3500 BCHeight 4

  • Chariot of the Sun (ca. 1400 BC), recovered in 1902 from Trundholm Marsh in Denmark. The Sun is a bronze disk covered with gold leaf, drawn on wheels by a horse.

  • Sun chariotOne of the most famous Bronze Age artifacts from Denmark. The sun chariot depicts a horse-drawn, six-wheeled wagon in cast bronze with a gold-covered sun disk that displays a spiral motif. This is a small-scale model of a vehicle that was presumably used for ceremonial purposes. Full-size artifacts of similar vehicles have been found. The artifact is about 50 cm long. It dates from the older Bronze Age, about 3000-3800 years ago.

  • Chapter TwoArt of the Ancient Near East

  • Assyrian EmpireFrom the ninth to the seventh century B.C., the Assyrian empire dominated the Near East. The Assyrian empire reached from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean Sea and into Egypt. Parts of Iran and Anatolia were also subject to this vast region and the major routes of trade and communication with the Mediterranean seacoast.

  • Chief among the cities of Assyria were Ashur, the ancient and religious capital, named after the principal Assyrian god; Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), chosen as the capital by Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883859 B.C.); Khorsabad (ancient Dur Sharrukin), founded by Sargon II (r. 721705 B.C.); and Nineveh, the chief administrative center in the seventh century B.C. Ashur lies on the west bank of the Tigris River, south of present-day Mosul, Iraq. The other three cities are situated to the north of Ashur, between the Tigris and Greater Zab Rivers.

  • At the end of the seventh century, the Assyrian empire collapsed under the assault of Babylonians from southern Mesopotamia and Medes, Kalhu was destroyed twice, first in 614 and again in 612 B.C. In that final year, Ashur and Nineveh also fell, and Assyrian rule in the Near East came to an end.

  • Human-Headed Winged Lion(lamassu); Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883859 B.C.) 10 3.5 Mesopotamia; excavated at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) Alabaster (gypsum)

  • LamassiLamassi were guardian beings that combined the powerful aspects of humans, birds of prey, and bulls or lions. Pairs of lamassieither human-headed winged bulls or lionsprotected and supported important doorways in Assyrian palaces. The horned headdress attests to their divinity, and the belt signifies their power. Assyrian sculptors gave these guardian figures five legs so that the animal stands firmly in place when viewed from the front, but appears to stride forward when seen from the side.

  • Reconstruction of an Assyrian Throne Room, 1849

  • JerichoOne of the earliest known stone fortifications discovered to date (8000 BC)

  • Fortifications of JerichoHuge brick wall 5 feet thick and 20 feet tallCircular stone tower 28 feet high and 33 feet in diameterStair in tower required sophisticated masonry skills and was remarkable for this time period7500 bc. About 2000 population

  • Other Fortified citiesAin Ghazal (Spring of Gazelle) site of present-day Amman, Jordan around 7200 5000 BC.Chatal Huyuk - part of present-day Turkey with a population of 5000 around 6500 5500 BC.Susa occupied space between Tigris river and Zagros Mountains in present-day Iraq around 4200 BC.

  • Art of Near EastAmong the arts that flourished in this region in the early cities were sculpture, painting, textiles, and pottery.

  • Figure, from Ain Ghazal, Jordan. C. 7000-6000 BC. Plaster with cowrie shell, bitumen, and paint, height approx. 35

  • Face of a woman, from Uruk (modern Warka, Iraq). C. 3500-3000 BC. Marble, height approx. 8

  • Carved vase (both sides), from Uruk. (modern Warka, Iraq). C. 3500-3000 BC. Alabaster, height 36

  • Votive statues from the Square Temple, Eshnunna (modern Tell Asmar, Iraq). c. 2900 - 2600 BC. Limestone, alabaster, and gypsum.

  • Nanna Ziggurat Ur (present-day Muqaiyir, Iraq c. 2100 2050 BC.

  • Bull lyre , from the tomb of King Abargi, Ur (modern Muqaiyir, Iraq). c. 2685 BC. Wood with gold, lapis lazuli, bitumen, and shell, reassembled in modern wood support.

  • Bull lyre (detail).

  • Cylinder Seals

  • Spoils of WarDuring uprisings within Iraq after the first Gulf War, nine of13 regional museums, in Dohuk and elsewhere, were systematically looted. Many of these artifacts appeared on the international black market. Among the important pieces of art missing is a 4,300-year-old bronze mask of an Akkadian king that is featured in most books of ancient art history.

  • Bronze Mask Effigy of an Akkadian King Circa 2000 BC

  • Stele of Naram-Sin ,c. 2254 - 2218 BC. Limestone, height 6'6" (1.98 m).

  • Votive statue of Gudea from Lagash (modern Telloh, Iraq). c. 2120 BC. Diorite, height 29 " (73.7 cm).

  • Stele of Hammurabi, from Susa (modern Shush, Iran). c. 1792 - 1750 BC. Basalt, height of stele approx. 7' (2.13m), height of relief 28" (71.1 cm).

  • Stele of Hammurabi (detail).

  • Lion Gate , Hattushash (near modern Boghazkeui, Turkey). c. 1400 BC. Limestone.

  • Assurnasirpal II Killing Lions . From Palace Complex of Assurnasirpal II, Nimrud, Iraq. c. 850 BC. Alabaster, height approx. 39" (99.1 cm).

  • Reconstruction drawing of the citadel and palace complex of Sargon II , Dur Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad, Iraq). c. 721 - 706 BC.

  • Assurbanipal and His Queen in the Garden , from the palace at Nineveh (modern Kuyunjik, Iraq). c. 647 BC. Alabaster, height approx. 21" (53.3 cm).

  • Reconstruction drawing of Babylon in the 6th century BC.

  • Ishtar Gate and throne room wall, from Babylon (Iraq). c. 575 BC. Glazed brick.

  • Woman Spinning , from Susa (modern Shush, Iran). c. 8th - 7th century BCE. Bitumen compound, 3 5/8 x 5 1/8" (9.2 x 13 cm).

  • Apadana (audience hall) of Darius and Xerxes , ceremonial complex, Persepolis, Iran. c.518 - 460 BC.

  • Chapter 3Art of Ancient Egypt

  • Funerary Mask of King Tutankhamun ruled Egypt 1332 1322 BC. (Eighteenth Dynasty)

  • Manethos ListIn the third century BC., an Egyptian priest and historian named Manetho used temple records to compile a chronological list of Egypts rulers since ancient times. He grouped them into dynasties and included the length of each kings reign. He listed thirty dynasties that ruled between about 3000 and 332 BC.

  • Map of Ancient Egypt with modern cities

  • Palette of King Narmer from Hierakonpolisca. 2950-2775 BC.This palette may be commemorating the unification of Egypt; Narmer may in fact be Menes, the legendary unifier of Egypt.

  • The Narmer PaletteThe Narmer Palette is notable for being one of the earliest depictions of the standard elements of canonical art including a smiting scene, the use of registers to organize the picture, a depiction of both the red and white crowns, the use of hieroglyphic writing including the use of the serekh to write the kings name and the use of the bull as a symbol of kingly power.

  • AN EGYPTIAN CANON OF PROPORTIONS FOR REPRESENTING THE HUMAN BODY. Before the reign of Akhenaten in Dynasty 18, royal personages were stylized and idealized. They were shown in their prime and with a sameness of form. To achieve this, they used a grid, where each unit was a square and the width of a fist.

  • SLIDE EVOLUTION OF TOMB STRUCTURE: MASTABA TO PYRAMIDSDeath in ancient Egypt was considered the beginning of a new life in another world. This life, assuming certain precautions were taken, would last forever. Because life on earth was short, they built their houses of mud, but they built their tombs to last an eternity. Some tombs actually had toilets!

  • Egyptian AfterlifeThe Egyptians believed that besides the physical body, everyone had a triple concept of the spirit: the BA, KA and AKH. The soul was called the ba and had mobility in and out of the deceased body. The ba is depicted as a bird with a human head. The ka is born with the infant and is represented by a pair of upraised arms. The ka was the life force that continued after death and permitted the deceased to eat and drink offerings provided by priests and relatives. The akh resided in heaven and enabled the dead person to live in the afterlife with the gods.

  • Mastaba tombsTomb building began with the mastaba ( Arabic for "bench") and had an internal serdab or room for the ka. By the third dynasty, the mastaba grew into the stepped pyramid, and refined into the pyramid. All three had burial chambers underground. In the construction of the Khufu pyramid, the sarcophagus of the pharaoh was too large for the descending corridor. They had to modify the design and put the burial chamber above ground.

  • Mastaba tombsMastaba tombs surround the pyramids of the Old Kingdom. Courtiers and families of the monarch were buried in these low rectangular brick or stone structures. Like the pyramids, they were built on the west side of the Nile (symbol of death, where the sun falls into the underworld).

  • The tombs also had other functions in addition to burial. It was a privilege to be buried near the Pharaoh. Tombs were probably given as rewards by the Pharaoh.A small village of mastaba tombs was created beside the Pyramid of Cheops / Khufu. The tombs also had a chapel that was accessed from the outside. These were often decorated. Offerings to the spirit of the deceased were left by their decendants. An additional feature was a Serdab room and statue. This room was created inside the tomb and was completely enclosed. Inside was a statue of the deceased. The statue was lined up to be opposite a small opening in the wall between the room and the chapel. In that way the spirit of the deceased could see the activities in the chapel and presumably the decendents could peek into the room and see the statue of their ancestor by flickering torchlight.The mastaba tombs beside the Pyramids were laid out on a grid, providing laneways for access to the tombs. Each mastaba tomb had at least one shaft for burial. The mummys in their mummy cases were lowered into the shaft and grave goods were placed around them. Then the shaft was filled with stones to prevent looting and vandalism.

  • Statuettes called shabti or shawabti, (slaves for the soul) were also placed in the tombs to perform work on behalf of the deceased in the afterlife.

  • NecropolisPilgrim, priest, or pharaoh, each made the same sacred journey. Starting at dawn from the sprawling capital of Memphis along the west bank of the Nile River, they first crossed a shallow lake by boat to reach the great necropolis--a symbolic journey to the land of death.

  • The Royal Bark of Khufu (Pharaoh known to ancient Greeks as Cheops). The boat was actually used by the Pharaoh before becoming funerary equipment to symbolize the journey of the Pharaoh to join his divine father, the sun god Re. It was found intact after 4500 years (in 1954).

  • Djoser's Funerary Complex at Saqqara

  • Mastaba to Pyramid elements of architectureMastabaStepped PyramidPyramid

  • Plan of Djoser's Funerary Complex at Saqqara

  • Great Pyramids, at Giza, c. 2613-2494 BC.

  • Khafre, from Giza, c. 2570-2544 BC. Diorite, 5' 6 1/8" high

  • Menkaure and His Wife, Queen Khamerernebty, from Giza, c. 2515 BC. Slate, 54 1/2" high

  • Ankhnesmerire II holds the infant Pepi II

  • Seated Scribe, from Saqqara c. 2510-2460 BC. Painted limestone, 21" high.

  • Tomb DecorationDecorations for the KA to provide pleasureSymbolicReligiousWealthy (Especially Royal Tombs)Everyday eventsScenes of momentous events in the life of the deceased

  • Reliefs from the Tomb of Ti, SaqqaraTi watching a hippopotamus huntca. 24942345 B.C.

  • Seated statue of the pharaoh Khafra, from Gizaca. 2500 B.C.

  • The hypostyle (pillared) hall in the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak in Thebes, Egypt, was decorated by Seti I and Ramses II. The hall was one of the wonders of antiquity, covering an area of some 54,000 square feet (5,000 square metres).

  • Temple of Amun, Karnakca. 1295-1186 B.C.pylon, court, hypostyle court, clerestory level

  • Pectoral of Princess Sit-hathor-yunet

  • Statuette of a Hippopotamus, ca. 19911783 B.C.; Dynasty 12; Middle Kingdom Egyptian; Middle Egypt, Meir Faience; H. 4 3/8 in.

  • Stele showing Amenhotep I with his mother

  • This original fish-shaped bottle comes from Amarna (Akhetaten), the capital of Amenophis IV-Akhenaten (reigned c. -1355 - c. -1337 B.C.)

  • Hatshepsut as King Early 18th Dynasty, joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III (1479-1458 B.C.) Western Thebes, Deir el-Bahri Crystalline (indurated) limestone, painted H. 195 cm (76 3/4 in.), W. 49 cm (19 1/2 in.), D. 114 cm (44 7/8 in.)

  • Hatshepsut as KingFirst female Pharaoh of EgyptMarried her half Brother, Thutmose II who reigned for 14 yearsWhen he died she became regent for his under-aged son born to one of his concubinesPriests declared her King a maneuver to prevent Thutmose III from assuming throne for 20 years

  • The temples of Mentuhotep II and Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri in 1953, before restoration. The temple of Thutmose III lies between them, unexcavated.

  • Colossus of Akhenaten from Amarna - New Kingdom - 18th Dynasty - circa 1353 BC

  • Aten the sun god, represented by the disk, extends his arm-like rays down to Akenaten and Nefretiti

  • The ReligionIt was a time of religious controversy when the traditional gods of Egypt were more or less abandoned at least by the royal family in favor of a single god, the sun disk named Aten.

  • Head of Queen Tiye (Tiy), 18th dynasty, ca. 1350 B.C. Tiy was the daughter of Yaya and Tuya, a family from Akhmim in Upper Kemet which gained prominence when Tiy became the principal wife of King Amenhotep III

  • Nefertiti (the name is an Egyptian phrase meaning "the beautiful one who has come") was the Great Wife of Akhenaten.

  • The massive gilded canopic shrine which was found in the treasury room of Tutankhamun's tomb held an alabaster canopic chest (with alabaster stoppers) which contained four gold coffinettes. These canopic containers were used to store Tutankhamun's viscera, removed during the mummification process. The gold coffinettes are inlaid with colored glass (Egyptian blue) and semi-precious stones. Tutankhamun

  • The cartouche just above the figure's feet is Tutankhamun's throne name Nebkheperure, however, when the container was opened it was discovered that it had originally been made for someone else (probably Smenkhare) and that cartouche inside was reworked to show Tutankhamun's name.

  • This golden diadem was found around the head of Tutankhamun's mummy when it was unwrapped by Howard Carter and his team. It features the 'Two Ladies', nebty, who represent the duality of the ancient Egyptian world the living and the dead, the struggle between the gods Horus and seth, and most particularly the differences between Upper and Lower Egypt.

  • Rameses II One of Egypts most lauded kings, Rameses II ruled longer than any pharaoh except Pepy II (who is said to have reigned for ninety-four years). Rameses II ascended to the throne when he was twenty years old and ruled for the next sixty-seven years.

  • limestone colossus of Ramses II now rests in a Memphis museum, stretching more than 40 feet (12 meters) long even without its missing legs. Larger than life as a ruler, builder, and sire, the pharaoh spread his likeness across Egypt during an epic reign. Ramses the Great ruled for more than 60 years (circa 1279 to 1213 B.C.), fathered at least 90 children, and is credited with bringing his empire prosperity and peace.

  • The huge rock statues of Rameses II. In 1964 a dramatic race against time began with the US$40 million rescue operation by UNESCO as Lake Nasser filled with water. The temples were dismantled and cut up into manageable-sized blocks, then painstakingly reconstructed 65m higher than the original site. Inside a specially constructed mountain, two gigantic reinforced concrete domes protect the rebuilt temples.

  • The second rock-cut temple was built in honour of Rameses II's wife Nefertari. This smaller monument is dedicated to the goddess Hathor. The facade of the temple shows Nefertari on each side of the entrance standing between two colossal 10m statues of Rameses.

  • The mummy of Rameses II was found in the Dayr al Bahri cache in 1881. Today, it is on display in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

  • Canopic JarsThere were four canopic jars found with mummies in ancient Egyptian tombs. In practice, the Canopic jars are Egyptian funerary furniture made of a variety of materials, including alabaster, bronze, wood, and pottery. Each of the 4 Canopic jars in a set is different, containing only the prescribed organ and dedicated to a specific son of Horus:dedicated to human-headed Imsety (the liver)dedicated to baboon-headed Hapy (the lungs)dedicated to jackal-headed Duamutef (the stomach)dedicated to falcon-headed Qebhsenuef (intestines)The god could be represented on the jar or the god's head could form the jar's lid.The heart was kept within the body and the brain wasn't considered important enough to be preserved, so there were no canopic jars for these two organs.

  • Queen Nefertari Making an offering to Isis, wall painting in the tomb of Nefertari, 1290-1224 B.C.

  • The Rosetta Stone

  • The Rosetta Stone

    Jean- Francois Champollion was born in Figeac, south France on December 23, 1790. At the age of 18, Champollion was well-versed in Arabic, Calidonian, Syrianic and Coptic languages. Following in-depth examination of the Rosetta Stone, Champollion came to the conclusion that he had at hand one single text in three languages. Based on his profound knowledge of Coptic language, Champollion found out that there was one text , written once in hieroglyphics, a second time in demotic, and a third time in Greek.

  • On March 3, 1832, Champollion died, leaving behind a substantial dictionary of ancient Egyptian together with a grammar of the language. As a result of his work and continuing research, trained scholars can now read with ease hieroglyphic texts, that were before him , a closed mystery.


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