Head of a colossal sandstone statue of a ram, probably a criosphinx, with incised details.
- 1400BC (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Temple of Khons, For the attribution of this head to the sphinxes to the south of the temple of Khonsu, see Cabrol, Cahiers de Karnak X, 43 n. 42. They may originally have been in the temple of Mut and were moved to this location by Panedjem I (Cabrol 56-7).
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Karnak (Thebes),Temple of Khons)
- Length: 118 centimetres (max)
PM II (2): p.191 (provenance info probably wrong, see 'Findspot').
A. Cabrol, Les voies processionnelles de Thebes, OLA 97, (2001), p. 244-245.See 'Findspot' for further details of possible origin,
See Fiechter, RdE 48 (1997) and Bierbrier in Fs James for more on the antiquities taken from the French Expedition.
12 January 2005
Clean and consolidate.
The head was treated for salt disruption with exfoliation in 1982. This treatment will be summarised under object treatment. Presently the head shows some powdering and one area on the ram's dexter horn appears to be exfoliating. The head is obscured under a thick layer of dust.
The following is a summary of the 1982 treatment. The envelope containing the report and consolidation notes has been retained. The head was badly weathered and was consolidated and cleaned, the work starting on 26.11 1982. B. Lowenthal and N. J. Lee carried out the treatment. The sandstone was powdery, with considerable areas of spalling. Areas of a thick black/brown substance, [often on break or pitted surfaces] disfigured the sides and undersides of the head. A test consolidation of some of these areas was carried using Wacker OH stone strengthener. These consolidated areas were then successfully cleaned with green label Nitromors which was removed with acetone. The upper surfaces of the head were first consolidated, and then the undersides. A greater range of consolidants was used to consolidate the lower surfaces. The upper surfaces. Flaking areas of sandstone were secured with facing tissue and 3% v/v PVOH in distilled water. When the PVOH had dried, consolidation with Wacker OH stone strengthener proceeded - a total of 10,350ml was applied by spray and pipette feed between 26.11. 1982 and 22. 12. 1982. The undersurfaces. The report states that the lower surfaces of the head were consolidated with 5,100ml of Wacker OH, until 4. 2. 1983. However on the 7. 02. 1983 a mixture of 80% Dow Corning T40149 silicon resin mixed with 20% Raccanello E55050 acrylic silane was used as the consolidant. Sometimes the acrylic Raccanello E0021 was substituted for the E55050. The consolidation appears to have been empirical in its nature with adaptations being made to the consolidating substances when it was thought necessary to do so. The spalling areas were again consolidated with a similar variety of substances and mixtures. These were : 100% Raccanello E0021, 50% Raccanello E0021+ 50% Dow Corning T40149, 30% Paraloid B72 + 70% Dow Corning T40149, 50% Racanello E55050 + 50% Dow Corning T40149. After consolidation futher cleaning took place using distilled water in a pack of sepiolite with bobbin net. After removal of the pack the dirt was removed using distilled water, bristle brushes and cotton wool swabs. If futher disruption to the stone surface occured at this stage the weakened area was consolidated with Wacker OH stone strengthener. On polymerisation of these resins and resin mixtures it was found that many of the exfoliating areas could be ironed down with a heated spatula. The fillings for these areas were made from mixtures of salt free sand, stone dust, Dow Corning T40149 and Raccanello E55050 or Dow Corning T40149 and Racanello E0021. In Dec. 2004 it was decide that the head should be cleaned. The dust on the head was vacuumed and brushed away. An area of the sandstone beneath the ram's chin was powdering and an area on the upper dexter horn sounded hollow when tapped. These two areas appeared to be the only two vulnerable areas on the head. They were consolidated with a solution of 3% Paraloid B72 in acetone/meths. This consolidant caused considerable darkening of the sandstone but was effective. The 1982/83 consolidant mixtures could not be used as they would have to be applied in a noxious substance evacuated environment. These earlier consolidant mixtures caused less darkening of the stone as well as being highly effective consolidants. The ram's nose, exposed to the public, was severly darkened with handling grease.This was removed firstly with white spirit and then with meths. Green label Nitromors was found to leave a slightly powdery surface which required consolidation. The handling grease, lodged between the sandstone particles could not be removed but was not unsightly. Consolidated areas and some of the dark areas on the ram's nose were retouched with acrylic Cryla colours.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA69285
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