civilisations. tie may have been 30—40 when he died. but the lace. with its big almond eyes and rigourous symmetry. is almost that oi a boy.
The mask is the most precioustreasure tound in the undisturbed tomb oi Psusennes I by the French archaeologist Montet in February 1940. The total value at the exhibits is estimated at over £20 million. Top Right:
Bracelet trom the mummy ot Shoshenq Ii. c 930 BC, XXIInd Dynasty
This inlaid gold bracelet is one at a pair(its partner is still in the museum in Cairo) and the habit ot placing jewellery in pairs onthe mummy retlects the ancient Egyptian passion tor order and symmetry. Nowhere does their art appear haphazard or leave
anything to chance.
The ‘wedlat' eye (literally ‘the intact') is one at the most ott-invoked divine symbols. Its origin is varioust attributed to the eye otthe sun god He or to the god Horus, son oiDsiris with whom all the Pharaohs came to be identitied. its use denotes watchtul vigilance and the restoration oi what has been lost.
Montet's explorations discovered a sequence ot chambers under the temple at Tanis. in one at which was the silver cottin oi Shoshenq II. a Pharaoh about whom little is known. The inscription on the braclet denotes it as belonging to his ancestor. Shoshenql.
Pylon-shaped pectoral ot
Wen-dleba-en-died. c1000 30. XXlst Dynasty
Wen-dieba-en-died was the general ot Psusennes and his burial chamberwas tound undisturbed in the Tanis tombs. In accordance with the strict hierarchy characteristic ol ancient Egypt. his cottin and jewellery is much less lavish and executed with less tinesse than that otthe kings but the design oi a winged scarab or beetle pendant is similiar to those at Psusennes. Its winged term is a reterence to the rising sun, an habitual metaphortor re-birth.
The pylon shape. a rectangle which narrows toward the top. was a common architectural torm tor gateways and portals in ancient
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Libation JaroiAmenemope-beloved- ot-Dsiris. c 990 BC. XXlst Dynasty Amenemope succeeded Psusennes as Pharaoh c 993 BC and remains were also tound atTanis.
The jet was tor waterwhich played an essential part in the luneral oitertory rites of the Pharaohs. The ceremony was believed to be have been pertormed both by the dead king once he had reached the realm otthe god Osiris (with whom he became identitied) and by a living priest on his behall. Its purpose was to puritythe Pharaoh's oitering oi lood. renew his lite and symbolically represent the waters otthe Nile which regularly tlooded and irrigated the arid desert soil.
The List 5 — 18Fcbruury 19M 7