The AMICA Library
AMICA Library Year:
African; North African; Egyptian
Ancient Egypt Africa,North Africa,Egypt
Wall Fragment from the Tomb of Thenti
Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5, c. 2524 - 2400
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This relief fragment from the tomb of the judge and scribe Thenti shows the deceased and his wife sitting on either side of an offering table piled with reed-shaped loaves of bread. Thenti wears the classic knee-length kilt, the belt looped at his waist.His hair or wig is closely cropped and he is clean-shaven. His wife, whose name is now illegible, wears a tight sheath dress that stops just below her breasts. She is ornamented with a beaded necklace, a choker, and bracelets, and a heavy wig composed ofa series of braids. Their son, also named Thenti, stands behind his mother. A small girl, whom the hieroglypic text identifies as Thenti's granddaughter, stands anchored on her own small baseline. She sucks her finger in a gesture traditionally associated with small children in Egyptian art. This scene displays many features of the classic Egyptian artistic conventions for human representation. The small toes of the near foot, for example, are invisible, the feet being rendered identically. When both feet are visible as with the younger Thenti, the arch of each foot is visible, as if both were viewed from the inside. Only one of the woman's breasts is portrayed, for her torso is shown in combined profile and frontal views to express simultaneously its width and contour.
H.: 53.3 cm (21 in.); W.: 83.8 cm (33 in.)
The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Purchase Fund
The '..judge and scribe Thent' appears sitting opposite his wife. Over table listed 'incense,..' below hopes for a 'thousand of beer, a thousand of clothing...' The hieroglyphic texts enumerate the offerings that were desired to sustain Thenti and his family in the afterlife. In addition to food, he requests clothing, linen, incense, green and black eye paint, and material used in the embalming process.
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