The Museo Egizio – Turin. Floor -1

This blog relates to my main site at:

https://egyptianmuseumvisits.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/musio-egizio-turin/

The Museo Egizio is a museum in Turin, Italy, specialising in Egyptian archaeology and anthropology. It houses one of the largest collections of Egyptian antiquities with more than 30,000 artefacts. (around 6000 on display)

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The Museum as we know it today began in the 17th century with the first antiquities acquired by the House of Savoy. Then with the purchase of the Drovetti collection in 1824 the museum was created.

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Floor -1

As you go down the escalator you reach floor -1, which houses the ticket office, shop and toilets/cloakroom.

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From here you enter the visitor pathway, a well signposted route through the museum.

  1. The History of the Museo Egizio

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Within this room are statues of the Goddess Isis, Grandiorite, 18th Dynasty of Amenhotep III (1390 – 1353BC) Coptos C.694

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“The Couple” a statue from the 4th – 6th Dynasty Mastaba Tomb (2543 – 2118BC) Gizeh, Egypt,

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Cyperus Papyrus “Book of the Dead of Iuefankh” Ptolemaic Period (332 – 30BC) C.1791

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and the Royal Canon or Turin Kings List. New Kingdom 19th Dynasty (1292 – 1190BC) C.1874

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Floor 2, Room 2 (Predynastic & Old Kingdom)

The Pre-dynastic Period.

Spanning more than a thousand years, the pre-dynastic is the period where the Pharonic Period was first defined.

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At this time Egypt as a country was not unified and was inhabited by people with differing social status, funerary customs and technological advances.

The Burial

Natural mummy of an adult male and funerary equipment, Predynastic Period, Naqada 3600 – 3350BC)

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Most of the artifacts found for this period are pottery based, which was largely found in cemetaries and villages. As well as large amounts of cosmetic palettes, combs, hairpins and bone and ivory unguent containers.

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The Gebelin Cloth, Painted Linen, Naqada II 3600 – 3350BC)

Scene of a boat procession.

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During this period the religious ideology turned from natural mummification to new body embalming techniques, introduced to preserve the dead into their journey to the afterlife.

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Above is a rectangular sarcophagi, Protodynastic Period (3309 – 2592BC)

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The Old Kingdom

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This historical period spans through the 3rd – 6th Dynasties (ca2600 -2100BC)

It is the age of the pyramids and of the standardisation and spread of writing, and artistic representations.

The Statue of Redji

Grandiorite, Old Kingdom, 2nd Dynasty (2592 – 2543BC)

The inscription at the bottom indicates that the statue belonged to a kings daughter named Redji.

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In the Old Kingdom there was a gradual transition from large sculptures to more slender models with realistic contours. A naturalistic style most evident in faces and bodies of statues.

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False Doors Stela. Gateways to the Netherworld.

One of the most characteristic features of Old Kingdom tombs was the so-called false door stela, a stone slab depicting a doorway framed by a sequence of stepped moldings, as if in a niche.

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The Sarcophagus of Duaenre.

Granite, 4th Dynasty (2543 – 2435BC) Gizeh, Western Cemetary.

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Pleated Tunics, 5th- 6th Dynasty, (2435 – 2118BC) Gebelein.

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An Unusal Burial.

A female burial and detail of the fringed border of a pleated cloth. Late Old Kingdom, Asyut.

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The Unknown Tomb

Found in 1911, an untouched tomb found 30km from Luxor at Gebelein, the tomb was dug into rock accessed by a 2 metre corridor which led to three chambers. One was empty but the other two contained coffins, mummies, pots, wooden models and other grave goods.

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Mummy of the Unknown Tomb. 5th Dynasty (2435 – 2305BC) Gebelein

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Floor 2, Room 3 (Tomb of Iti & Neferu)

Moving from Room 2 you enter Room 3.

The Tomb of Iti and Neferu

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This tomb was discovered in Gebelein near Luxor (Thebes) and is an example of a First Intermediate Period burial (2118 – 1980BC).

The tomb was partly cut into rock with mud brick walls and vaults. The facade of the tomb had 16 columns looking over a courtyard sloping towards the valley. There were 11 rooms, 10 of equal size were used for grave goods but the eleventh and middle one, was larger and was decorated as the cult chapel of the owners.

The Wall Paintings 

As the debris was removed fabulous tomb paintings were revealed. These tempera paintings were on a crude mud and straw plaster and were of typical Old Kingdom tombs showing ritual offering scenes and lively farming scenes.

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The Funerary Stela of Iti and Neferu

Found on the floor of the tomb, this Stela says Iti was “Chief of Troops” and “Treasurer to the King”. It also names Iti’s wife Neferu whose intact burial was in room 10 of the tomb.

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Amongst Neferu’s grave goods were a small toothed spatula of ivory, a bronze mirror with a wooden handle and dozens of blue faience beads. Other goods included pottery, clay vases and an alabaster glass shaped unguent container and six seashells.

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Floor 2, Room 4 (Middle Kingdom)

Leaving the tomb paintings of Iti and Neferu, you now enter Room 4. This Room starts with The First Intermediate and ends with the early Middle Kingdom.

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The First Intermediate Period (2118 – 1980BC)Turin Nov 2015 267

This period was sandwiched between the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom Dynasties. At the end of the 6th Dynasty there had been a problem and with the succession of the throne, made worse by a sudden decline in crop production and a general economic failure.

The Tomb of Ini at Gebelein. 11th Dynasty.

The whole burial assemblage of this tomb shows a shift in the evolution of funerary customs in this period. Rectangular coffins now introduced inscriptions on them and the image of Wedjat (two eyes) on the left side.

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Ini was lying on his side with his head facing the spot where the painted eyes were.There were also 300 models of seed bags, a wooden statue and scaled down model boats.

The Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom saw a reunification of the kingdom under control of one Pharaoh, Montuhotep II (11th Dynasty).

It was not until the beginning of the 12th Dynasty that the renaissance began. The Capital City was moved to a site near the modern day city of Lisht near the Fayum.

Pharaohs once again began to build large monumental buildings. Below you can see False Doors, Stela and tablets from this period.

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In 1908 in Asyut, Egypt an intact tomb was discovered of an official named Shemes, it contained many rich grave goods. Two rectangular Coffins, one for Shemes and the other for a woman called Rehuerausen, possibly his wife. They carry typical Middle Kingdom decorations, with the two Wedjat eyes on the left handside.

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A third slightly earlier coffin found in the tomb, belonged to a man called Idi. This tomb contained many pots and vases, 3 model boats and 2 statues depicting the striding deceased, with a long staff in his left hand and a scepter in his right.

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Below is the coffin of Mereru, 12th Dynasty (1939 – 1848BC) Asyut, Egypt.

In the Middle Kingdom the coffin was a protective shell gathering on its surface all the elements the deceased required for his or her survival and regeneration during the journey to the underworld.

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Floor 2, Room 5 (Middle Kingdom)

As you enter Room 5, we have the Late Middle Period and the start of the New Kingdom Dynasties.

The Late Middle Kingdom

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During the start of the Middle Kingdom (2009 – 1837BC) the country was ruled by Nomarchs, powerful families who made up these provincial governors. Late in the period (1837 – 1819BC) their rule was restricted to urban centres and the Pharaoh oversaw their appointment and rule. The Administration of the country now in the hands of two officials, the Vizier and treasurer, who reported directly to Pharaoh.

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To the right is a life size statue of the Governor Wahka.

Limestone,13th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom (ca1750BC), Qaw el-Kebir Tomb No.7.

An remarkable example from the late Middle Kingdom Period, this life-sized depiction of the Governor Wahka in a natural position. The wig’s shape, long and straight, the large almond-shaped eyes and stern gaze, mitigated by a smile.

Below is a statue of the Vizier Iymeru.

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Granodiorite, Middle Kingdom, 2nd quarter of the 13th Dynasty (1730 – 1720BC)

The head originally belonged to another statue, probably from the 18th Dynasty. It was more than likely restored in the 19th Century to appeal to the booming antiquities market to make it more appealing for sale, a common practice!

Below is the Statue of the Overseer of Fields, Kheperka, Granodioritre, Middle Kingdom, 13th Dynasty (1759 -1700BC).

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Other objects from the Middle Kingdom.

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Floor 2, Room 5 (New Kingdom)

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The New Kingdom.

Around 1539BC, a dynasty of Pharaohs from Thebes (Modern day Luxor) wrested control of Egypt from the Hyskos and reunited the country.

Thus began a great period of social, economic and cultural dynamism, which today is known as the New Kingdom (18th-20th Dynasties, ca. 1539 -1076BC).

During the New Kingdom, there became a direct relationship between one or another god “Personal Piety”. New types of statue emerged showing the person who commissioned it offering a divine image, know as ‘theophorous statues’.

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These statues were placed in courtyards of temples and expressed the bond between the dedicator and the god or goddess for whom it dedicated.

To the right is  a granodiorite statue, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty (1292 -1190BC)Turin Nov 2015 406

It depicts a devotee of the god Hathor by a man called Iner. Shaven head holding a sistrum, which depicts Hathor with cow horns and characteristic hairstyle. The hand is brought to the mouth to beseech the faithful to place offerings on it.

Below, Sandstone Statue, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty (1292 -1190BC) Island of Sehel

Qen wTurin Nov 2015 396as the god’s father of Amun on Elephantine (Aswan) and of Khnum, Satis and Anukis.

The shrine (naos) contains a woman wearing a high plumed headdress, she is Anukis, goddess of the Nile flood.

With the ram headed Khnum and the goddess Satis she forms the triad of Elephantine. The statue probably comes from the temple of the triad on the island of Sehel, just south of Elephantine.

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Right, Statue of Aanen

Granodiorite, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty (1390 -1353B|C) reign of Amenhotep III. Thebes

It depicts a Dignitary wearing a wig, a long gown and leopard skin of a priest. The ornament on his belt reads the names of Amenhotep III. Aanen. The inscription tells us he is an astronomer priest ‘one who knows the procession of the sky’.

The Coffin of Puia

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Anthropoid wooden coffin, New Kingdom,18th Dynasty.

Belonged to a man called Puia, most likely 2nd priest of Amun under Hatshepsut (1479 – 1458BC) The hands and face are painted red. At the head and feet the goddesses of mourning Isis and Nephthys, and on both sides, painted in blue, are the gods of Anubis and Osiris alternating with the four sons of Horus.

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Above, Limestone Statue of Hel, Funerary chapel statue, Late 18th Dynasty (ca.1300) Saqqara.

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Above, 2 Sarcophagus Lids from Theban Tomb 32. Pink Granite, 19th Dynasty (1279 -1213BC) Reign of Ramesses II.

The tomb was built for a high official of the king Ramesses II, named Djehutymes and was buried with his wife Aset. Robbed in antiquity Asets lid was broken in two.

Other Artifacts:

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Floor 1, Room 6 (Deir el-Medina)

At the end of the 2nd floor, you now descend down to floor 1 and into Room 6.

Deir el-Medina.

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The village of Deir el-Medina was founded in 1500BC on the West Bank of Thebes. It was the home of builders, chiselers, draftsmen, painters, and service personnel, with their families. Their task was to build and decorate the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens.

No ordinary workers, they could read and write, shown by the ostraca and papyri found buried in the village.

The Foundation of the Village

Established under Tuthmosis I, expanded by Tuthmosis III, Horemheb and the first Rameside Kings. The village has revealed many testimonies of the posthumous cult of kings, by the craftsmen.

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Left, Limestone, Cult Statue of Amenhotep I, 19-20th Dynasty (1292 -1076BC)

Far Right (middle), Painted Wooden Statue of Ahmose Nefertari, 19th Dynasty (1292- 1190BC)

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Household Protection

In each house there were specific places dedicated to the cult of deities connected with domestic aspects of life, such as motherhood, childbearing and food supplies.

He we see Tawaret, protector of pregnant women.

Painted and Plastered wood, 19th Dynasty (1292 -1190BC)

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Although the workers and their families formed separate and distinctive community, their lives were regulated by the national calendar and holidays. Some of the most important religious ceremonies were held in the Theban area, most notably the “Beautiful Festival of the Valley” and the “Opet Festival”.

Below, Statue of Penmernabu, Carved and painted Limestone, 19th Dynasty (1292 -1190BC) Deir el-Medina.

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Ostaca

The site of Deir el-Medina has yielded a large number of figured Ostraca, which constitute a priceless means to lift the curtain on Egyptian artistic skills. These limestone chips carry a repertoire of images which do not occur in tombs or temples.

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Last 2 Photos, Ostracon of an acrobatic dancer, 19-20th Dynasty (1291 – 1076BC) Deir el-Medina

Papyrus and the plan of the tomb of Ramesses IV

This papyrus is one of the many manuscripts of a well known scribe Amennakht, who was responsible possibly for the plan and its annotations of a plan of Ramesses IV’s tomb.

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Cyperus papyrus, 20th Dynasty, Reign of Ramesses IV (1156 -1149BC) Deir el-Medina.

The Necropolis and Excavation of the Village.

The excavation of the necropolis began with the surrounding hills, where the workmen and their families were buried. Besides the chapel of Maia and the tomb of Kha, several other chapels were unearthed, with part of their original grave goods still preserved. These included Statuettes, Shabti, boxes and canopic jars.

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Above, Limestone statue of Pendua and Nefertari, 19th Dynasty (1292 -1190BC) Deir el-Medina.

The Chapel of Maya

Maya and his wife, New Kingdom 1334 – 1324BC, Deir el-Medina. Discovered 1906 by E.Schiaparelli.

The walls were made of mud and straw bricks covered with plaster.

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Other Artifacts:

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Floor 1, Room 7 (Tomb of Kha and Merit)

The Tomb of Kha

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On February 1906, in a valley next to the village of Deir el-Medina, a shaft was found which led to an underground tomb. This shaft led down to a passage, at the end of which was a large wooden door. Behind was an intact chamber containing all the burial goods of two individuals.

Kha was a “director of works” and his wife was called Merit.

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Middle Coffin of Kha, Wood, Pistacia resin, Gold and wood.

Kha had three coffins, nested one inside the other: the outer one is shaped as a shrine and contained two mummy shaped coffins. The innermost one held the mummy.

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Inner Coffin of Kha, Stucco Gold, Bronze.

Coffin and Shrine of Merit

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The inner coffin of Merit is the only one of its kind. It merges the two different types of coffins found on the middle and inner coffins of Kha. Merits did not have a middle coffin but her head and upper chest were covered by a wonderful funerary mask, made of cartonnage, gilded and decorated with semi-precious stones and glass.

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The Wig of Merit and Beauty Cases

A remarkable artifact that had belonged to Merit, was her wig, made with real locks of hair sewn together and braided.

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Beds and Chairs

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Kha’s work tools

Also found in the tomb were some of Kha’s work tools, including a scribes palette with pens and wells for colours, a waxed writing table tablet and papyrus smoothers.

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An amazing folding cubit rod (middle photo), measuring instrument with a leather case to be slung on the belt. Below is a gold cubit wooden rod, which was given to Kha by the Pharaoh Amenhotep II.

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Kha’s tunic and underwear

Textiles were present in large quantities in elite tombs. They were used to both clothe the mummy and for use in the afterlife. Seventeen short-sleeved tunics were found as well as underwear made of triangular sheets of linen. <any of the items were embroidered with the monogram of Kha.

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A pantry for the Afterlife

When discovered there were many small wooden tables within the tomb, containing all manner of foods, which would be required in the afterlife as a funerary banquet. There were many different breads, fruit & vegetables, pulses and beans. Meat and Fish, was dried and smoked, roasted or cured. There was also a large amount of spices and aromas and blocks of salt, flour and fats.

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Kha’s Book of the Dead

Found in the middle coffin and folded up was Kha’s book of the dead, a papyrus measuring 14 metres and containing 33 magical spells, many of them illustrated.

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Other Artifacts:

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Floor 1, Room 8 (The Coffin Gallery)

Probably my favorite room.

The Coffin Gallery

This room provides you with an overview of the typological and decorative evolution of coffins Turin Nov 2015 731between the 3rd Intermediate Period and the Late Period.

The 21st Dynasty Coffins are from the Drovetti collection excavated from the Valley of the Queens in Thebes (Modern day Luxor).

A Standard coffin set of the 21st Dynasty comprised of three main elements, an outer coffin, an inner coffin – each consisting of a box and a lid – and a false lid or mummy board. Wooden feet, false beard and faces were carved separately.

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The Coffins of Butehamon

A royal scribe, 21st Dynasty (1076 – 1050BC) 3rd Intermediate Period, Deir el-Medina.

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The Coffins of Taba-Kenkhonsu

She was a singer of Amun, 21st Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period (1076 – 943BC) Thebes Necropolis.

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The Coffins of Tamutmutef

Also a singer of Amun, 21st Dynasty, 3rd Intermediate Period (1000 – 944BC) Thebes

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The Coffins of Pahoreniset

A Pastry Cook working for the priesthood of the Temple of Amun at Karnak, 21st Dynasty (1000 -944BC) Thebes.

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The Coffins of Tadiaset and Harwi

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Other Coffins

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