Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Hatshepsut(?) - The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art - Cleveland, Ohio.

Amongst their collections we have this item:


Do we have a problem here? Maybe. You will see that the description of the fragment says "Said to be from Thebes, Deir el Bahari". I will inevitably come across many items that have no exact origin and i can see this being an issue. Although here, we have a fragment which could easily have come from Deir el Bahri- we do not know for sure that this fragment shows Hatshepsut. Again in the description, we have a less-than-definite "Hatshepsut or Thutmose III".

What makes it harder to determine who this fragment is for sure is that Hatshepsut showed herself as a male (upon becoming Pharaoh), had herself depicted as such and therefore we cannot say that as the skin pigment shows brown skin- it must be male. That would be too easy.

Despite the above this fragment is a great example of the New Kingdom Art before the Amarna Period, when art changed somewhat. I will go as far as to say that the person depicted does appear (to my eye) to be from the Thutmoside Period of the early New Kingdom. With that said, this is my interpretation only, not fact.

Update: This fragment is of Thutmose III and does indeed originate from Deir el Bahri.

Thank you to Andrzej Cwiek (from the Deir el Bahri Polish Team) for supplying the information by email. Also to IUFAA for the advice (see comments).

" This fragment (Cleveland 1920.1995), representing the head of a king wearing an atef crown, comes indeed from the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari. It has been published in L. M. Berman (ed.), The Cleveland Museum of Art. Catalogue of Egyptian Art, New York 1999, p. 215, fig. 159 as 'Hatshepsut or Tuthmosis III'. Now we have been able to identify its exact position within the original decoration of the temple"
The above quotation is a small part of the email. Further publications of Porter and Moss will provide substantial information on this fragment and MANY more which are from Deir el Bahri, but housed in museums and sites the world over It will also show their (original) locations within the walls of Deir el Bahri.



Anonymous said...

Hi Stuart,

since there is no inscription an the block and obviously not exact data about the origin the only way to locate the block is to compare it with the restored walls at Hats temple. So, ask the Polish researchers working there.

If the block belongs to the temple of TIII then there is no change today to locate the block. The TIII temple is far away from reconstruction.


Stuart Tyler said...

Iufaa - I will contact the Polish Team and see what they think about this bock. Thanks for the advise.