EGYPTIAN OLD KINGDOM FAIENCE TOMB TILE
Measurements: 5.8 cm – height, 3.5 cm - width
Description: An ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom blue-green glazed faience tomb tile. The tile is slightly convex-in section, with an undercut projection on the reverse with a longitudinal hole, through which would have been strung a cord of some vegetal matter, probably papyrus, with maker's mark one side. Using the cords for the alignment, the tiles were embedded in plaster on the limestone chamber walls. In their arrangement, these tiles imitate reed matting, a common Egyptian motif, the blue-green colour is also associated with water and regeneration, thus the tiles not only evoke the earthly and afterlife home of the king, but also the Egyptian notion of the primeval waters, a place where creation arose at the beginning of the time and from which the deceased king could arise reborn. This tile is of the same type as those which covered underground chambers of Djoser's Step Pyramid in Saqqara and his South Tomb, most notably surrounding six limestone relief's forming false door stelae showing the Pharaoh performing a ritual run.
Reference: Borromeo, G., Leveque, M., Dunn Friedman, F., Gifts Of The Nile: Ancient Egyptian Faience, 1997, pg. 180-181.
Period: Old Kingdom, 2686 – 2181 BC
Condition: Very fine.
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