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Fragment of painted plaster from the tomb of Sebekhotep

Nubians bring gold as a present to the Egyptian court

 

Height: 71.000 cm (max.)
Width: 96.500 cm (max.)

Gift of H. Danby Seymour

EA 921

Room 65: Sudan, Egypt & Nubia

    Fragment of painted plaster from the tomb of Sebekhotep

    From Thebes, Egypt
    18th Dynasty, around 1400 BC

    Africans bearing gold

    Sebekhotep was a senior treasury official of the reign of Thutmose IV (1400-1390 BC). One of his responsibilities was to deal with foreign gifts brought to the king. This fragment was part of a scene that showed Sebekhotep receiving the produce of the Near East and Africa on behalf of Thutmose IV.

    At the left, three men (probably Nubians) pay homage to Sebekhotep as representative of the king. They are followed by three more men carrying plates of gold with interlinked rings of gold over their arms. Gold was one of the most important products of Nubia. This is the usual way that gold is represented in Egyptian tomb paintings; the idealized image is emphasized by the fact that no one man could possibly carry the mass of gold shown here!

    The variation in colour of the men's skin may represent their different skin types, though it could have been done for aesthetic reasons, to make the individual figures stand out more.

    Such scenes represented Sebekhotep's importance as an official, and his relationship with the king; Sebekhotep enjoyed the privileges of office in death as in life.

    E. Dziobek, Das Grab des Sobekhotep. Thebe (Mainz, Zabern, 1990)

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    On display: Room 65: Sudan, Egypt & Nubia

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