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tomb-painting

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA37978

  • Description

    Painting from the tomb chapel of Nebamen: the fragmentary top register shows workers standing in front of a gaggle of geese and presenting a basket of eggs to two seated scribes, who record the produce. In the lower register workers come with a flock of geese, and a man presents birds in baskets. A scribe stands reading out the list of produce to a large seated figure of the tomb owner, towards whom both upper registers were oriented (.37979; not displayed). The three vertical registers and one horizontal register of black painted hieroglyphic texts face the same way as the people who speak what is written.

    In the lower register the man bending forward and holding a stick speaks to the men squatting in front of him.

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  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1350BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 71 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 115.5 centimetres (painting only)
    • Width: 117.8 centimetres (whole fragment)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Position

        lower register
      • Inscription Translation

        You too should take your time, take your time! [. ..] You are conducting the Young Troops [of...]
      • Inscription Comment

        Painted. Above the man with the basket of birds is this sarcastic reply to the goose herder. The man's supposed 'Troops' are the geese.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Position

        lower register
      • Inscription Translation

        Sit, and don't talk!
      • Inscription Comment

        Painted. Said by the man bending forward and holding a stick speaks to the men squatting in front of him.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Script

        hieroglyphic
      • Inscription Position

        lower register
      • Inscription Translation

        Do not hurry your feet, carrying these geese — until you hear for yourself.You don't know (if there will be) another chance for what you will say!
      • Inscription Comment

        Painted. Said by the man who is herding the gaggle of geese to the man in front of him. This seems to be a sarcastic comment that he should not be too eager, and wait until he is summoned: he must not misuse his opportunity to speak to the master.
  • Curator's comments

    The texts are not quite written in classical Middle Egyptian like the formal texts in the tomb chapel, but they are still very remote from what such workers would actually have spoken.

    Bibliography:
    B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' I (Part 2) (Oxford: Clarendon Press), 817-18;
    L. Manniche, 'Lost Tombs: A Study of Certain Eighteenth Dynasty Monuments in the Theban Necropolis', Studies in Egyptology (London and New York, 1988), 136-57, esp. 144-5.
    A. P. Kozloff, B. M. Bryan & L. M. Berman, 'Aménophis III, le pharaon-soleil' (Paris 1993), p. 237 [Fig.IX.22]; Johnson in M. L .Bierbrier (ed.) 'Portraits and masks : burial customs in Roman Egypt' (London, 1997), p. 102, [pl.14.1];
    Nicholson and Shaw, Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology (Cambridge 2000), p. 116;
    N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 174-5.
    Full publication: R. Parkinson, The Painted Tomb-Chapel of Nebamun: Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art in the British Museum (London: British Museum Press 2008).
    A. Middleton and K. Uprichard (ed.), The Nebamun Wall paintings: Conservation, Scientific Analysis and Display at the British Museum (London: Archetype 2008).

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  • Bibliography

    • Parkinson 1999 38 bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 pp.170-175 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G61/2B

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited;

    1977 London, BM, Animals in Art

  • Condition

    good (incomplete - upper register damaged)

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1821

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA37978

  • Registration number

    .37978

  • Additional IDs

    • ES.171
Painting from the tomb chapel of Nebamen: the fragmentary top register shows workers standing in front of a gaggle of geese and presenting a basket of eggs to two seated scribes, who record the  produce. In  the lower register workers come with a flock of geese, and a man presents birds in baskets. A scribe stands reading out the list of produce to a large seated figure of the tomb owner, towards whom both upper registers were oriented (.37979; not displayed). The three vertical registers and one horizonta; register of black painted hieroglyphic texts face the same way as the people who speak what is written. 

In the lower register the man bending forward and holding a stick speaks to the men squatting in front of him.

Painting from the tomb chapel of Nebamen: the fragmentary top register shows workers standing in front of a gaggle of geese and presenting a basket of eggs to two seated scribes, who record the produce. In the lower register workers come with a flock of geese, and a man presents birds in baskets. A scribe stands reading out the list of produce to a large seated figure of the tomb owner, towards whom both upper registers were oriented (.37979; not displayed). The three vertical registers and one horizonta; register of black painted hieroglyphic texts face the same way as the people who speak what is written. In the lower register the man bending forward and holding a stick speaks to the men squatting in front of him.

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA68008

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