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Category Archive for: ‘Variable of the Day’

  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Sash skirt

    Temple of Seti I at Abydos NOTE:  This general term is used to record instances of skirts that include a sash tie at the front of the waist.  There are several different configurations, including examples that have long sashes that hang down the sides and …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Cloth offering

    Temple of Seti I at Abydos NOTE: Cloth offerings were presented as part of the Daily Cultic Ritual sequence.  Texts often describe the king as ‘dressing’ the image of the deity with these textiles.  Fabrics of different colors were featured, including white, green, and red, …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Pinky gesture

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    Temple of Seti I at Abydos NOTE: This gesture, where the king extends his pinky finger, is used to apply ointment to a deity.  In his other hand, the king holds the jar of ointment.  Usually, the ointment is actually shown as being applied to …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Bound foes

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    Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu NOTE: Bound prisoners, particularly foreign foes, are a common sight in Egyptian temples.  They usually appear in the lower courses of the relief or in scenes depicting the successful result of battle.  Ethnically distinct groups–Nubian, Libyan, or Asiatic–are …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Personified emblems

    Tomb of Ramses III (KV 11) NOTE: Personified emblems, often the ankh, djed pillar, and was scepter, appear first in the Predynastic period (such as on labels of king Narmer) and continue to be used throughout Egyptian history.  Usually, these emblems with arms follow the …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Tail

    Tomb of Ramses VI (KV 9) NOTE: The tail worn by the king is one of the oldest elements of royal regalia.  It appears on the Narmer Palette as well as on numerous other Early Dynastic objects (such as this ivory label of Den from …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Bouquet offering

    Temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu NOTE: These offerings depict the king before a deity presenting various types of bouquets.  They imply regeneration and and fecundity.  According to the analysis of offering scenes at Medinet Habu, they tend to be presented to ithyphallic or …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Falcon hovering overhead

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    Tomb of Ramses VI (KV 9) NOTE:  Falcons, like discs and vultures, are often depicted hovering over the kin’g head.  They shield pharaoh from harm and also bestow various gifts.  In the above instance, the unidentified  falcon extends to the king a shen sign (representative …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Sunshade

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    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE:  The sunshade, unlike the khu fan, appeared early in Egypt’s history.  They appear on both the Narmer macehead and that of King ‘Scorpion’ (Oxford, Ashmolean Museum E 3631 and 3632).  This emblem is generally seen as signifying a divine …

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  • Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Khu fan

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    Tomb of Khaemwaset (QV 44) NOTE:  The khu-fan does not appear until the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty, during the reign of Amenhotep II.  It is described as a ceremonial fan and was often carried by high-status officials who bore the title ‘fanbearers on the …

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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.