Collections of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (Part II)
Reviewed by: Wafaa El-houseiny
Translated by: Nour Elhoda Abdel Ghaffar
Collections of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (Part II)
We will now continue with the most important artifacts on the first floor of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo:
Hatshepsut means "noble woman."
She was the first female Pharaoh of Kemet, having the longest reign, as she reigned between 1479 - 1458 BC in the 18th Dynasty, reigning for more than 20 years.
Hatshepsut was the only child born to King Thutmose I by his principal wife, and after the death of her father at the age of twelve, she married her half-brother Thutmose II, who ruled for 15 years, in 1615 BC. After Thutmose's death, the throne went to Thutmose III, the nephew, and stepson of Hatshepsut, because she did not give birth to a male with Thutmose II, and since Thutmose III was a child and unable to rule Kemet, Hatshepsut had custody of him for three years until she declared herself a pharaoh.
Statue of the god Khonsu
Khonsu was the god of the moon. The word Khonsu is derived from the verb " hns" which means to travel or run.
One of his titles is the messenger of the gods; for he always travels around the heavens, so he conveys messages from one god to another. He was mainly worshipped in Thebes.
Description of the statue: - He was in the mummy or Osiris position, and his features looked like that of a child. Although the god Khonsu represents a mummy, the sculptor was very skilled in representing facial and muscular features, especially in the knees. He was wearing a skullcap similar to that worn by the god Ptah, the god of Memphis. The sculptor represents him wearing a collar consisting of several layers ending with beads to increase the rattle for entertainment. On the back of the statue, there is a column used for support.
Statue of Ramses II as a child with the god Horus
This statue represents Ramses II as a child, sitting before the Canaanite sun god Horus, who is shaped like a falcon.
The statue is presented in a typical way: a naked Egyptian child, with his finger in his mouth, a uraeus on his forehead, a sun disc above his head, and holding the plant in his left hand. The falcon's limestone face was found someplace separate from the rest of the piece.
Statue of Hathor protecting King Psamtik
This statue is made of schist and depicts Psamtik standing in prayer posture. There is also a seal showing his profession as chief scribe hanging from his neck. He is standing under the figure of a cow representing the goddess Hathor; as we mentioned in the first part, she was the goddess of love, music, and motherhood.
Here Hathor wears her usual sun disc crown, with two long feathers inserted between her horns.
Statue of King Ramses III with Horus and Seth
This group represents King Ramses III with the god Horus and the god Seth, all standing at approximately the same height.
Ramses III wears the white crown of Upper Egypt with the royal cobra in front, a wide collar of many rows, the royal pleated kilt, and the shandy, with a long belt hanging down. The king carries the Ankh or the key of life in his right hand and the staff of power in his left hand, and his left leg is forward as per usual.
As for Horus and Seth, they are in about the same position; the left leg is forward, each holding the Ankh and wearing an Egyptian pectoral and a shendyt.
Akhenaten was nicknamed the heretic Pharaoh - the source of infinite charm and admiration.
Akhenaten was Amenhotep IV and proved to be the most exceptional king of all the Egyptian rulers, beginning a new period known as the Amarna Period.
The significance of the king was not due to his achievements; his significance and fame were due to the new religion he established. He was the first Pharaoh to call for monotheism, which is the worshipping of one god, "Aten", the sun god. The king succeeded in making Aten the only god in the form of a disk from which sun rays emerge and at the end of each ray is a hand extended to the royal family. Not only this, but he also sent sculptors and painters to erase the name of the other god from the walls of the temples. He also saw that this religion required a new place of worship, uncontaminated by the traditional ways of worshiping Amun. Accordingly, he chose a city in central Egypt on the west bank of the Nile River and called it "Akhetaten" known today as Tell el-Amarna.
Hence, he changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of this new god.
Akhenaten married Queen Nefertiti, with whom he had six daughters, and as usual, he had other wives, including the mysterious Kia who bore him an heir by the name of Tutankhamun.
The women of the kingdom played a major role in art during this period in particular. Nefertiti disappeared from historical records after about 12 years of this period, only to appear again in a mysterious painting near the end of Akhenaten's reign.
Akhenaten died after ruling Egypt for 17 years.
After King Akhenaten refused to represent the god Aten in the form of a statue or a triad, he decided to represent him in the form of a sun disc whose rays end in human hands bearing the sign of Ankh and the sign of the scepter.
The king believed that the god Aten was not a god for Egyptians only but for all the creatures in the universe.
The temples of Aten resembled the solar temples of the Fifth Dynasty. They were open and without any roofs to enjoy the benefits of the sun with altars piled with flowers and offerings.
The Fundamentals of Atenism: Atenism had several fundamentals, namely...
_ That the god Aten created himself, and he is the source of life, and he gathered both males and females on one Atenist side.
_ Aten is not the sun disc; he is the hidden force in this disc, therefore, he never represented him in human or animal form.
_He did not have a temple or a specific place of worship; you can give him offerings anywhere and at any time.
_He did not have a priesthood, and the relationship between him and the people was only Akhenaten himself. This is considered the weakest point in Atenism because, after Akhenaten's death, Atenism collapsed.
Nefertiti is one of the most famous women of the ancient world, and a symbol of feminine beauty.
The name is Nefertiti means "A Beautiful Woman Has Come". She is of non-royal origin; researchers said that she was one of the Mitannian princesses, and others suggest that she was the daughter of a family from Thebes, but it was agreed that she was descended from an important Egyptian family, of noble origin, and that she was known for her beauty.
She probably married Akhenaten at the age of 17 or 18 and gave birth to his six daughters.
Nefertiti was described in one of the paintings as the Lady of Happiness and Love, who delighted the heart of the god of Upper and Lower Egypt, and who delighted people upon hearing her voice. She was considered a symbol of beauty in Egypt and her beauty became legendary among later generations.
There was some quarrel between her and her husband Akhenaten, so Nefertiti disappeared about 12 years of Akhenaten's reign.
Her statue is 47cm long, weighs about 20 kg, is made of limestone, and is colored with a layer of plaster. The pupil of the right eye is coated with black quartz, and fixed in place with beeswax, while the background of the eye is made of limestone. Nefertiti is wearing a distinctive blue gilded crown, on her forehead is the cobra snake, which has now been broken, in addition to a wide necklace engraved with flowers. The ears have also suffered some damage.
Queen Nefertiti is famous for her blue crown. When we trace the eyes within the black lines, we notice that they are incomplete, which makes the eyes ambiguous and distant and gives us the impression that the person is completely lost in thought. Her oval face also reflects a delicate observation which is that she has high cheekbones, a gentle mouth, and a smooth nose.
Akhenaten kissing his daughter
Made of limestone, this statue was discovered in the sculptors' workshop at Tell el-Amarna by the Germans and dates back to the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom during the reign of King Akhenaten.
When we look at the left side of the statue, we will find that it is incomplete. It represents King Akhenaten carrying his daughter, most likely Meritaten, who was also known as the "Lady of the Palace", in his lap and kissing her in an emotional scene filled with love, affection, and fatherhood, while he isitting on a quilted throne and wearing the blue crown of war, in addition to a long tunic with short sleeves. When looking at the princess, we see her face turned to her father to receive a kiss.
This statue is not just a depiction of the king and his daughter but reflects the domestic life in the palace, and from it, we can conclude that the artists were allowed to enter the royal palace and copy the scenes of the king's daily life to be shown to the public.
The Victory Stele of King Merneptah
It is a stele made of grey granite, discovered in Thebes, in the first hall of the mortuary temple of King Merneptah, by Mr. Flinders Petrie, and dates back to the 18th dynasty during the reign of Merneptah.
As for King Merneptah, he is the thirteenth son of King Ramses II. He was about 60 years old when he ascended the throne of Egypt and ruled for 8 to 10 years. Despite his old age, he achieved many military achievements and led an army to Syria, where there was a revolution after the death of his father. He also led a campaign against Libyans in the West and succeeded in defeating them and declaring that Egypt was still strong, and that no one could overcome it.
He built a temple dedicated to the god Ptah in Memphis, built a mortuary temple in Thebes, and built a royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
As for the stele, it describes the celebration of his victory in his fifth year over the Libyans. The stele was erected in the first hall of his mortuary temple in Thebes.
Book_Golden Tour Guide from p. 261 to 292