Sculpture of Ramesses II and the hawk god Hurun, granite and limestone, 19th dynasty, Cairo museum.
This sculpture depicts the pharaoh Ramesses II as a child under the protection of the hawk god Hurun, a god associated with Horus during the New Kingdom. Ramesses II carries a small plant of papyrus and a solar disc tops his head. This sculpture is interesting because of its cryptographic meaning: in ancient egyptian, the hawk is called Ra, the child translates as Mes and the papyrus as Su. It is a rebus which spells the name of the pharaoh, Ramessu.
Ejagham mask, 20th century, Cross River, Nigeria. Wood, leather, metal and bones.
Mask used to perform warlike dances. Related to ancient customs of headhunting and cannibalism: the captured ennemy was eaten and his head was cleaned and dried to be used as the top of an helmet. Later the head was carved in wood and simply covered with human skin. - quaibranly.fr
Wood and tin processional cross, ca. AD 1500, Ethiopia.
In the Ethiopian church, the wooden cross is perceived as having been sanctified by the Christ’s blood, which conferred upon it the infinite power to heal and bless. - metmuseum.org
Wooden Shabti of Tutankhamun; wood, gold, paint and copper alloy. Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun (1332–1323 B.C.), Thebes, Valley of the Kings, tomb of Tutankhamun.
The shabtis and their tools (hoes, mattocks and baskets attached to yokes) are linked to an important belief about Osiris’ kingdom. Osiris is the god of the dead and the bondsman of the deceased’s survival after his death. It was believed that Osiris could summon his subjects - including the deceased king - to work in his fields or accomplish another manual task for him. In order to deal with this possibility, dozens of shabtis were placed in the king’s tomb: these little statuettes were meant to replace the king when he would be summoned by Osiris. In Tutankhamun’s tomb, for instance, there was a shabti for each day in a year and a few shabtis monitors.
Alabaster canopic jar lid with glass and stone inlays, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, late reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1340–1336 B.C. Western Thebes, Egypt.
Canopic jars were used to store the four internal organs that were removed during mummification. Although intended for a funerary context, the face on this canopic jar lid was carved by a master with the skill and care one might expect in a more public portrait. - metmuseum.org
Faience statuette of a hippopotamus, Middle Kingdom - 12th Dynasty, 1981–1885 BC, Egypt.
This well-formed statuette of a hippopotamus demonstrates the Egyptian artist’s appreciation for the natural world. It was molded in faience, a ceramic material made of ground quartz. Beneath the blue-green glaze, the body was painted with the outlines of river plants, symbolizing the marshes in which the animal lived. - metmuseum.org
Manuscripts on Astronomy and Mathematics, Timbuktu, Mali (Western Africa), XVth century approx. Probably from the University of Sankore.
Pectoral with Solar/Lunar emblems and Scarab, XIIXth Dynasty, reign of Tutankhamun (1332-1322 BC). Gold, silver, electrum, semiprecious stones. Egyptian Museum, Cairo (by Kenneth Garrett © 2008/National Geographic).