Seti I Tomb

. For years after the discovery, the tomb would be identified with various rulers. But in 1828 French scholar Jean-François Champollion deciphered hieroglyphics in the tomb to identify it as that of Seti I. One of the 19th dynasty’s greatest rulers, and father of Ramses II, Seti I ruled for 11 years during which he expanded Egypt’s influence south to Nubia and northeast to Syria. Archaeologists would later find the king’s mummy in the Royal Mummy Cache nearby, where it had been moved in antiquity for safekeeping.

“It’s not our least discovery to learn to love Egyptian art” (Robert de Traz)

“From now on darkness and misunderstandings reign over Pharaonic Egypt. Gutted tombs, emaciated temples, it seems open to the eyes. But everyone is making mistakes, starting with Herodotus. When, a hundred years ago , Champollion deciphered the hieroglyphs, we thought we finally had the key to this lost world. We began to translate with eagerness the texts of the stelae and the papyri. But we now see that we literally transcribe them. the meaning, the significance of metaphors perhaps escapes us. Naville points out in this regard the inconsistency of certain passages where, with the highest ideas, oddities and stupidities are mingled. Where we thought we understood, suddenly appears a hole, an intellectual impossibility Who knows if the hieroglyphics do not have a secondary meaning and if another key is not needed to open, after the first vault, a secret room where everything will be explained. We are left with art, which is a revelation. The symbols escape us, the texts may deceive us, but beauty speaks. In an unforgettable voice. What does it matter that the corpse has disappeared if the statue emerges from the grave? We don’t know what exactly these chiefs and wise men were saying, but they, anyway, here they are. As is. More decipherable than the papyri are the human face, the delicate and naked form of a woman’s body. Very Egyptian idea, by the way. Ptah, “who formed the earth”, is also the god of artists. For these believers, the statues became beings. They are returned to us, and as contemporaries: Senousret III, tense face, hollow cheeks, heavy and disdainful chin, with on his face of hard granite something sad, resolute and sensual; Thutmes III, the great conqueror, with an air of intelligence and mockery, a pointed nose, eyes flush with his head, the ensemble so cheerful, so free; Queen Nefertele, her eyes outlined, her mouth about to open; Tutankhamun, the little tuberculous Pharaoh who died very young, with attentive eyes under the regular arch of the eyebrows, and whose serenity does not question, does not complain, does not reproach anything. Learning to love Egyptian art is not our least discovery. Gradually tamed, we get used to gigantic or simplified forms, whose evocative power and superior generality satisfy us as we emerge from an age of impressionism and the picturesque. Tired of details, with what pacifying happiness we greet magnificent syntheses. A pure line, a simple relief raised in the limestone, but so precise, so flexible, and here is the very ripple of life moving. How could we not be deeply satisfied with it? So, in works that seemed surprising to us at first, we find what we would like that resembles us. ” extract from “Le expatriation oriental”, by Robert de Traz (1884-1951), Swiss novelist and essayist

Anubus fetish

This unusual Object is an Anubus fetish or Imiut Fetish, one of a pair found in the burial chamber of Tutankhamen’s tomb. According to Wikipedia:”The Imiut fetish (jmy-wt) is a religious object that has been documented throughout the history of ancient Egypt. It was a stuffed, headless animal skin, often of a feline or bull. This fetish was tied by the tail to a pole, terminating in a lotus bud and inserted into a stand. The item was present in ancient Egyptian funerary rites from at least the earliest dynasties. Although its origin and purpose is unknown, the imiut fetish dates as far back as the First Dynasty (3100-2890 BC).”