Relief - ROM2018_16271_41



Medium:Limestone, traces of paint
Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 2465-2323 BC
Period: Old Kingdom, Fifth Dynasty
34.4 × 20.7 × 2.4 cm
Object number: 981X2.3
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

The manservant in this relief is carrying a flywhisk and a headrest to the tomb of his employer as part of the funeral procession. Though the man’s face is well carved, and may reflect individual features, the objects he carries received less attention from the artist; the headrest in particular was merely scratched onto the stone.  Though there are traces of paint on the man’s figure, showing that the scene was finished, there may have been some hurry in finishing the tomb to account for the inferior work.

During the Fifth Dynasty many members of the bureaucracy were able to afford decorated tombs for themselves. The servants in scenes such as this often had their names carved or painted above them so that they could maintain their ties with the deceased into the next life.  No trace remains of any such individual treatment here, though the carefully carved face may represent a particular person.

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