Limestone pyramidion of Wedjahor

Possibly from Abydos, Egypt
Early 26th Dynasty, around 650 BC

The uppermost stone on a royal pyramid in the Old Kingdom (about 2613-2160 BC) and Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC) is called a pyramidion. In the New Kingdom (about 1550-1070 BC) it became the practice for tombs to have small brick pyramids above them, on which were placed small pyramidia, relatively small pyramid-shaped pieces of stone.

After the New Kingdom the practice seems to have died out, though it did reappear briefly in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664-525 BC) at Abydos. The pyramidion of Wedjahor dates to this period.

Each face of the pyramidion is decorated with a figure of the Anubis jackal, beneath which is a figure of Wedjahor adoring different gods. The east and west faces show forms of the sun god (as would be expected: the pyramid shape is a solar symbol), while the others show a form of Osiris and Anubis. There is thus clearly one aspect of the object which is solar in nature, while another is concerned with death and the Afterlife.

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More information

Bibliography

G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

H. de Meulenaere, 'Pyramidions d'Abydos', Jaarbericht ... ex Oriente Lux, 20 (1967), pp. 13-15

Dimensions

Height: 61.000 cm (max.)
Width: 45.700 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 1482

YCA69164

Purchased with the assistance of Lady Wantage

Location

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