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  • Decorated pottery is rare and is found mainly in high-status burials. The dark on light style was originally developed to imitate more valuable stone vessels, as shown by the pot's shape and wavy handles.Light-coloured pots like this, made of marl clay mined from desert wadis and painted with schematic designs in red ochre pigment, are known as Decorated or D-ware. They are characteristic of later Predynastic times (NaqadaIIcd, c. 3500-3200 BC). The most intriguing Decorated pots are those painted with boats (though other interpretations include ostrich farms, walled villages, or temples on stilts). This pot comes from the tomb of a wealthy young woman, at el-Amra in Middle Egypt, but pots bearing images of boats have been found throughout Egypt and into Nubia. The boats are always strikingly similar, with a curved hull, an exaggerated number of oars, two striped cabins amidships, and a branch on the stern as an ornament or to provide shade for the crew (never shown). The symmetrically-placed boats (usually one on each side) frame a very limited range of ten other motifs. These include rows of stylized ostriches and small bushes, as seen here, reflecting the two main aspects of the Egyptian world: the desert and the river. Combined in regular patterns, these motifs convey a message which we cannot yet fully understand.Above each boat is a large woman in a tight-fitting gown, her hands raised over her head, evidently engaged in a dance. To one side, her two smaller male companions beat out a rhythm with clappers or castanets.The female figure is clearly important, perhaps a goddess or priestess, but is essentially passive. It is the men who are active, perhaps serving as mediators who summon the goddess from her sacred boat so that they may imbibe her blessings and power. However, the meaning of these scenes is still debated. Since Decorated ware is found almost exclusively in graves, some scholars suggest it depicts the funeral procession and associated rituals; as similar motifs are also known from desert rock art, the message may be much broader, with motifs forming part of a graphic vocabulary ensuring fertility and rebirth, whether for humans or the cosmos. Such concerns were important throughout Egyptian history.The lack of variation in style, shape, and motifs of Decorated pottery suggests that these vessels were manufactured at a limited number of workshops; close scrutiny has even identified the work of individual artists. The artist who painted this pot probably made two others found in cemeteries up to 60 km away. The development of a trade and transport system to distribute pottery was one of the critical steps towards the formation of Dynastic civilization.
  • Decorated pottery is rare and is found mainly in high-status burials. The dark on light style was originally developed to imitate more valuable stone vessels, as shown by the pot's shape and wavy handles.Light-coloured pots like this, made of marl clay mined from desert wadis and painted with schematic designs in red ochre pigment, are known as Decorated or D-ware. They are characteristic of later Predynastic times (NaqadaIIcd, c. 3500-3200 BC). The most intriguing Decorated pots are those painted with boats (though other interpretations include ostrich farms, walled villages, or temples on stilts). This pot comes from the tomb of a wealthy young woman, at el-Amra in Middle Egypt, but pots bearing images of boats have been found throughout Egypt and into Nubia. The boats are always strikingly similar, with a curved hull, an exaggerated number of oars, two striped cabins amidships, and a branch on the stern as an ornament or to provide shade for the crew (never shown). The symmetrically-placed boats (usually one on each side) frame a very limited range of ten other motifs. These include rows of stylized ostriches and small bushes, as seen here, reflecting the two main aspects of the Egyptian world: the desert and the river. Combined in regular patterns, these motifs convey a message which we cannot yet fully understand.Above each boat is a large woman in a tight-fitting gown, her hands raised over her head, evidently engaged in a dance. To one side, her two smaller male companions beat out a rhythm with clappers or castanets.The female figure is clearly important, perhaps a goddess or priestess, but is essentially passive. It is the men who are active, perhaps serving as mediators who summon the goddess from her sacred boat so that they may imbibe her blessings and power. However, the meaning of these scenes is still debated. Since Decorated ware is found almost exclusively in graves, some scholars suggest it depicts the funeral procession and associated rituals; as similar motifs are also known from desert rock art, the message may be much broader, with motifs forming part of a graphic vocabulary ensuring fertility and rebirth, whether for humans or the cosmos. Such concerns were important throughout Egyptian history.The lack of variation in style, shape, and motifs of Decorated pottery suggests that these vessels were manufactured at a limited number of workshops; close scrutiny has even identified the work of individual artists. The artist who painted this pot probably made two others found in cemeteries up to 60 km away. The development of a trade and transport system to distribute pottery was one of the critical steps towards the formation of Dynastic civilization.
  • Decorated pottery is rare and is found mainly in high-status burials. The dark on light style was originally developed to imitate more valuable stone vessels, as shown by the pot's shape and wavy handles.Light-coloured pots like this, made of marl clay mined from desert wadis and painted with schematic designs in red ochre pigment, are known as Decorated or D-ware. They are characteristic of later Predynastic times (NaqadaIIcd, c. 3500-3200 BC). The most intriguing Decorated pots are those painted with boats (though other interpretations include ostrich farms, walled villages, or temples on stilts). This pot comes from the tomb of a wealthy young woman, at el-Amra in Middle Egypt, but pots bearing images of boats have been found throughout Egypt and into Nubia. The boats are always strikingly similar, with a curved hull, an exaggerated number of oars, two striped cabins amidships, and a branch on the stern as an ornament or to provide shade for the crew (never shown). The symmetrically-placed boats (usually one on each side) frame a very limited range of ten other motifs. These include rows of stylized ostriches and small bushes, as seen here, reflecting the two main aspects of the Egyptian world: the desert and the river. Combined in regular patterns, these motifs convey a message which we cannot yet fully understand.Above each boat is a large woman in a tight-fitting gown, her hands raised over her head, evidently engaged in a dance. To one side, her two smaller male companions beat out a rhythm with clappers or castanets.The female figure is clearly important, perhaps a goddess or priestess, but is essentially passive. It is the men who are active, perhaps serving as mediators who summon the goddess from her sacred boat so that they may imbibe her blessings and power. However, the meaning of these scenes is still debated. Since Decorated ware is found almost exclusively in graves, some scholars suggest it depicts the funeral procession and associated rituals; as similar motifs are also known from desert rock art, the message may be much broader, with motifs forming part of a graphic vocabulary ensuring fertility and rebirth, whether for humans or the cosmos. Such concerns were important throughout Egyptian history.The lack of variation in style, shape, and motifs of Decorated pottery suggests that these vessels were manufactured at a limited number of workshops; close scrutiny has even identified the work of individual artists. The artist who painted this pot probably made two others found in cemeteries up to 60 km away. The development of a trade and transport system to distribute pottery was one of the critical steps towards the formation of Dynastic civilization.

Transcript

  • 1. Art of Ancient Egypt
    Reading:
    Stokstad, 49-61
    Range:
    5000-2150 BCE
    Predynastic, Early Dynastic, Old Kingdom
    Terms/Concepts:
    Canon of Proportions, Ka, Ba, Palette, Mastaba, Step Pyramid, Pyramid, Serdab, Sed-Festival, Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt,
    Monument:
    • Pg. 52, Palette of Narmer, Early Dynastic, 2950 BCE
    • 2. 3-3, Funerary Complex of Djoser, Early Dynastic, 2630-2575 BCE
    • 3. 3-4, Pyramids Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure at Giza, Old Kingdom, 2575-2450 BCE
    • 4. 3-8, Cult Statue of Khafre, Old Kingdom, 2520-2494 BCE
    • 5. 3-10, Seated Scribe, Old Kingdom, 2450-2325 BCE
    • 6. 3-12, Ti Supervising a Hippopotamus Hunt, Old Kingdom, 2450-2325 BCE
  • Timeline of the Ancient Near East
  • 7. Egypt: Chronology
    • Predynastic Period 5000-2920 BCE
    • 8. Early Dynastic Period (I-III) 2920-2611BCE
    • 9. Old Kingdom (IV-VIII) 2575-2465 BCE
    • 10. First Intermediate Period (IX-XI) 2134-2040 BCE
    • 11. Middle Kingdom (XI-XIV) 2040-1640BCE
    • 12. Second Intermediate Period (XV-XVII) 1640-1532BCE
    • 13. New Kingdom (XVIII-XX) 1550-1070BCE
    • 14. Third Intermediate Period (XXI-XXV) 1070-712BCE
    • 15. Late Period (XXV-XXXI) 712-332BCE
    • 16. Greco/Roman Egypt 332BCE-359 CE
  • 17. Two-handled Jar, Predynastic Egypt, El-Amra, 3300 BCE
  • 18. Two-handled Jar, Predynastic Egypt, El-Amra, 3300 BCE
    Beaker, Protoliterate, Mesopotamia, Susa, 4200-3000 BCE
  • 19. Bowl, Protoliterate Mesopotamian, Samarra, 4200-3000 BCE
    Two-handled Jar, Predynastic Egypt, El-Amra, 3300 BCE
  • 20.
  • 21. People, boats, and animals, as seen in a copy of a painting from Tomb 100, Hierakonpolis, PredynasticPeriod, c.3500-3200 BCE.
  • 22. People, boats, and animals, as seen in a copy of a painting from Tomb 100, Hierakonpolis, PredynasticPeriod, c.3500-3200 BCE.
  • 23. In the beginning…
  • 24. Geb and Nut
  • 25. Osiris, Isis, Seth, Nephthys
  • 26. Lower Egypt
    Upper Egypt
    • Pg. 52, Palette of Narmer, Early Dynastic, 2950 BCE
  • Lower Egypt
    Upper Egypt
    • Pg. 52, Palette of Narmer, Early Dynastic, 2950 BCE
  • Lower Egypt
    Upper Egypt
  • 27.
  • 28.
  • 29. Mastaba (General Plan), Early Dynastic Egypt-Old Kingdom, 3000-2100 BCE
  • 30. Wooden Panel (detail), Tomb of Hesire, Early Dynastic Egypt, Third Dynasty, Saqqara, 2630-2611 BCE
  • 31.
  • 32. Imhotep. Stepped Pyramid and Mortuary Precinct of Djoser. Saqqara, Egypt. c.2630-2575 BCE.
  • 33. Imhotep. Plan, Stepped Pyramid of Djoser. Saqqara, Egypt. c.2630-2575 BCE.
  • 34. Imhotep. Serdab, Stepped Pyramid and mortuary precinct of Djoser. Saqqara, Egypt. c.2630-2575 BCE.
  • 35.
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 38. Statue of Djoser. Saqqara. Early Dynastic. c.2630-2575 BCE.
  • 39.
  • 40.
  • 41.
    • 3-4, Pyramids of Khufu, Khafreand Menkaure, at Giza, Old Kingdom, 2575-2450 BCE
  • 42. Grave Goods, Pyramid of Khufu, Giza, Egypt, Old Kingdom, 2551-2528 BCE.
  • 43. People, boats, and animals, as seen in a copy of a painting from Tomb 100, Hierakonpolis, PredynasticPeriod, c.3500-3200 BCE.
    Grave Goods, Pyramid of Khufu, Giza, Egypt, Old Kingdom, 2551-2528 BCE.
  • 44.
  • 45.
    • 3-8, Cult Statue of Khafre, Old Kingdom, 2520-2465 BCE
  • 46. Cult Statue of Khafre
    Palette of Narmer
  • 47. Papyrus
    Blue Lotus
    Khafre Cult Statue (Detail)
  • 48.
  • 49. Menkaure and his Queen (Possibly Khamerernebty II), Giza, Egypt, Old Kingdom, 2490-2472 BCE.
  • 50. Headdress (nemes)
    Menkaure (Detail)
    Wooden Beard
  • 51. wig
    hair
    Khamerernebty II?
    (detail)
  • 52. Triad of Menkaure(Hathor, Menkarure, Nome of Hare), Giza, Egypt, Old Kingdom, 2490-2472 BCE.
  • 53.
  • 54.
    • 3-12, Ti Supervising a Hippopotamus Hunt, from the Tomb of Ti, Saqqara, Old Kingdom, 2450-2325 BCE
  • Servants Making Bread and Beer, from the Tomb of Ti, Saqqara, Old Kingdom, 2450-2325 BCE
  • 55. Petrified Loaves of Bread from Egyptian Tombs.
  • 56. What edible bread probably looked like.
  • 57. Woman making Beer, from the Tomb of Ni-kau-inpu, Old Kingdom, Fifth Dynasty, 2450-2325 BCE
  • 58.
  • 59. Katep and his wife Hetepheres, Old Kingdom, Giza (?), Egypt, 2465-2152.
  • 60.
    • 3-10, Seated Scribe, Old Kingdom, 2450-2325 BCE
  • Critical Thinking Questions
    How does the environment of ancient Egypt impact the lifestyle and art of the Egyptians?
    Describe the Egyptian canon of proportions. What are some of the ideological aspects of the canon?
    How does the Narmer Palette characterize the ideal king of Egypt?
    Describe the development of tomb architecture from Early Dynastic to Old Kingdom Egypt?