About this object

Limestone fragments from a decorated gateway at the palace of Apries. Fine raised relief decoration depicted King Apries in the regalia of the sed-festival (or jubilee), performing a ritual to prove he is fit to rule.

The excavator, Flinders Petrie, believed the gateway was originally decorated with six scenes, three on each side of the passage. More recently it has been suggested by Werner Kaiser that there was also a decorated lintel. In 1909 Liverpool were given eight fragments that Petrie thought belonged to one scene. In 1988 Kaiser made corrections to Petrie’s reconstructions and places five of Liverpool’s fragments at the top of the gateway, forming another scene on the lintel, together with pieces from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. These five fragments preserve a scene showing six courtiers carrying symbolic items pivotal to the sed-festival: fans, door-hinges and a scorpion; a column of hieroglyphic text reads, “He is the leader of the living kas, his heart is enlarged before the gods”; and a sky motif with some blue paint preserved. Three other fragments preserve a scene of the king with only one arm and one leg remaining. The king wears a bull’s tail suspended from the waist. Three men, shown at a smaller scale, stand behind the king. Hieroglyphic captions identify them as a lector priest, a noble and commander of the palace, and a chamberlain of the inner quarters of the palace. Above is a flying falcon carrying a shen-ring.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Architecture
  • Culture
    Late Period (Saite)
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Memphis
  • Date made
    589 BC - 570 BC (Dynasty 26: Reign of Apries)
  • Materials
    Limestone; Paint
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of The Egyptian Research Account and British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1909
  • Collector
    British School of Archaeology in Egypt
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Memphis
  • Date collected
    1909
  • Measurements
    2000 mm x 2000 mm x 65 mm x 445 kg
  • Note
    Other fragments are in the Egyptian Museum (Cairo), Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology (London) (UC15858-9), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) (09.183.1a), The Ashmolean Museum (Oxford) Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (Copenhagen), and Royal Museums of Art and History (Brussels) (E.5036). The object was removed from the museum in the Second World War and forgotten about and then rediscovered in St Georges Hall in 1970.
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Publications

  • Archaism and Innovation in Art in John Tait (ed) Never Had the Like Occurred': Egypt's view of its past

    Morkot, Robert

    Author: Morkot, Robert
    Publisher: University College London Press
    Date: 2003
    Description:

  • 'Die dekorierte Torfassade des spätzeitlichen Palastbezirkes von Memphis', in MDAIK 43

    Kaiser, Werner

    Author: Kaiser, Werner
    Publisher: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Abteilung Kairo
    Date: 1987
    Description: An article in Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Abteilung Kairo volume 43 (1987), pp. 123-154.

  • Egyptian Treasures in Europe volume 4: National Museums & Galleries on Merseyside, Liverpool

    Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)

    Author: Andrea Davies; Dirk van der Plas (ed)
    Publisher: Utrecht University
    Date: 2001
    Description: CD ROM with 1500 objects from World Museum's Egyptian collection, including some destroyed in World War Two. This is now available online: http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/default.aspx

  • Finds from W. M. F. Petrie's Excavations in Egypt in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

    Bagh, Tina

    Author: Bagh, Tina
    Publisher: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
    Date: 2011
    Description:

  • Gifts of The Nile: Ancient Egyptian Arts and Crafts in Liverpool Museum

    Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela

    Author: Bienkowski, Piotr; Tooley, Angela
    Publisher: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
    Date: 1995
    Description: A 130 page illustrated book that focuses on the Egyptian antiquities in World Museum's collections to provide a colourful introduction to the land and its culture in the Pharaonic period. An appendix explains the history of the collection and includes information about the Lady Lever Art Gallery Egyptian collection, which is also part of National Museums Liverpool.

  • The Palace of Apries (Memphis II)

    Petrie, William Matthew Flinders

    Author: Petrie, William Matthew Flinders
    Publisher: British School of Archaeology in Egypt
    Date: 1909
    Description: Publication of the British School of Archaeology in Egypt excavations at Mephis 1909

  • Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings Volume III Part 2 (complete): Memphis. Saqqâra to Dahshûr

    Porter, B; Moss, R L B; Burney, E W (assisted by); Malek, J (now edited by)

    Author: Porter, B; Moss, R L B; Burney, E W (assisted by); Malek, J (now edited by)
    Publisher: Griffith Institute
    Date: 2003
    Description: This is Volume III Part 2 (complete). Memphis. Saqqâra to Dahshûr. Hardback, pp. xxxvi + 622 + 36 pp. of maps and plans. (2nd ed.) 2003, unchanged reprint of the 1981 edition in hard cover and reduced format. ISBN 0 900416 238. More information is available online: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/topbib.html

Events

  • British School of Archaeology in Egypt Excavations Memphis, 1909

    Start date: 1909
    End date: 1909
    Description: Excavation directed by Flinders Petrie for the British School of Archaeology in Egypt. Working with Mackay and Wainwright. The excavations were published in Flinders Petrie, 'The Palace of Apries (Memphis II)' (London, 1909).

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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