Sketch on limestone - ROM2018_16310_8


Sketch on limestone

Geography: Excavated at Deir el-Bahri, Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1069 BC
Period: 18th-20th Dynasty, New Kingdom
11.3 × 9 × 1.5 cm
Object number: 907.18.6
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

'Ostracon' is the word that archaeologists use for the flakes of limestone that Ancient Egyptians used as notepads.  A clean, fresh break in the limestone from the hills of Western Thebes often exhibits a flat surface ideal for writing out lists, making notes, and for sketching. 

This particular ostracon was used to try out several images: a baboon at upper left, an oval with cross-hatching, three birds (ducks? geese?) and a human arm leading something dark, no longer identifiable on the broken piece of limestone. This was a trial piece, perhaps part of an exercise for an apprentice.

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