Sunday, 29 December 2013

Loose Statue Piece found at Gurna

Nevine El-Aref reports that "a black granite head of an unidentified New Kingdom king's statue has been uncovered in Luxor" in one of the Tuthmosis III temples. Of course Egyptian reporting being what it is, she identifies the wrong one as the findspot, it was not the cliff temple in Deir El-Bahari (in the Polish concession) but the Gurna temple to the southeast which is where the Spanish are digging.

I'm just a bit puzzled by that photo. It's a pretty poor shot (probably made on a mobile phone) and perhaps we should not expect every single Egyptian sculptor to be a master of his craft, or able to stick to the canon, but...  to be honest if I saw that as a loose find on eBay, I'd have real doubts about its authenticity. In the photo as we see it, the proportions look wrong, the eyes crude, the lips, the damage to the nose (looks too broad for the height where the break is). I'd be interested to know if the context was a sealed one, or whether there is a chance that this was a modern intrusive piece ( there are today surface traces of at least one reproduction antiquities workshop not so very far from the Gurna temple that was active when there was a village here). An odd items, but anyway, interesting.

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