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Limestone false door of Kaihap

 

Height: 207.000 cm
Width: 142.000 cm

Gift of the Government of Egypt

EA 1848

Room 4: Egyptian sculpture

    Limestone false door of Kaihap

    From Saqqara, Egypt
    5th Dynasty, around 2400 BC

    A minor official

    Kahihap was a minor official, though his titles rather grandly claim that he was 'King's Confidant' and 'Chosen Inspector Of Those Who Are In Attendance'. This rather elaborate false door is all that survives of his tomb-chapel at Saqqara. In addition to the normal inscriptions, the stela depicts an unusually large number of people. Either side of the couple on the central panel at the top are a row of five male and five female children, while on the jambs either side of the standing couple on the lower part of the door are six male and three female grandchildren. Below the standing figures are ten men carrying offerings, at least two of whom are 'soul priests', who would look after the rituals to be performed in the tomb.

    It is unusual for quite so many figures to appear on the door. While more standard compositions would place children and priests on adjacent walls, it seems that the entire decoration of the tomb may have been concentrated on this stela. Kaihap was a relatively minor official, who would have got the tomb that he could afford.

    A considerable amount of red and yellow colour is preserved on the figures.

    G.T. Martin, The tomb of Hetepka (London, Egypt Exploration Society, 1979)

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