From Prehistoric to Historic
The road from hunting to husbandry is long and arduous. The problems
and pressures faced by historic societies are very different from those
that confronted peoples in the Paleolithic or Neolithic eras. Prehistory
was a phase of evolution during which humans learned how to maintain
themselves against a hostile environment. Their achievements were
responses to threats of physical extinction. With the domestication of
animals and edible plants, people won a decisive victory in this battle,
assuring our survival on this planet. But the Neolithic Revolution
placed us on a level at which we might well have remained indefinitely.
The forces of nature, at least during that geological era, would never
again challenge men and women as they had Paleolithic peoples. And in
many parts of the globe, as we saw in the previous chapter, people were
content to stay on a "Neolithic plateau."
In a few places, however, the Neolithic balance between humans and
nature was upset by a new threat, a threat posed not by nature but by
people themselves. The earliest monument to that threat is seen in the
fortifications of Neolithic Jericho (see fig.
constructed almost 9,000
years ago. What was the source of the human conflict
that made them necessary? Competition for grazing land among tribes of
herdsmen or for arable soil among farming communities? The basic cause,
we suspect, was that the Neolithic Revolution had been too successful in
this area, permitting the local population to grow beyond the available
food supply. This situation might have been resolved in a number of
ways. Constant tribal warfare could have reduced the population. Or the
people could have united in larger and more disciplined social units for
the sake of ambitious group efforts that no loosely organized tribal
society would have been able to achieve. The fortifications at Jericho
were an enterprise of this kind, requiring sustained and specialized
labor over a long period. We do not know the outcome of the struggle in
that region (future excavations may tell us how far the urbanizing
extended) but about
years later, similar conflicts, on a
larger scale, arose in the Nile Valley and that of the Tigris and
Euphrates, and there these conflicts generated enough pressure to
produce a new kind of society, very much more complex and efficient than
had ever existed before.
First in Egypt and Mesopotamia, somewhat later in
neighboring areas, and in the Indus Valley and along the Yellow River in
China, people were to live in a more dynamic world, where their capacity
to survive was challenged not by the forces of nature but by human
tensions and conflicts arising either within society or as the result of
competition between societies. These efforts to cope with human
environment have proved a far greater challenge than the earlier
struggle with nature.
THE OLD KINGDOM
Egyptian civilization has long been regarded as the
most rigid and conservative ever. Plato said that Egyptian art had not
10,000 years. Perhaps "enduring"
and "continuous" are better terms for it, although at first glance all
Egyptian art between 3000
and 500 B.C. does tend to
have a certain sameness. There is a kernel of truth in this: the basic
pattern of Egyptian institutions, beliefs, and artistic ideas was formed
during the first few centuries of that vast span of time and kept
reasserting itself until the very end. We shall see, however, that over
the years this basic pattern went through ever more severe crises that
challenged its ability to survive. Had it been as inflexible as
supposed, it would have succumbed long before it finally did. Egyptian
art alternates between conservatism and innovation, but is never static.
Some of its great achievements had a decisive influence on Greek and
Roman art, and thus we can still feel ourselves linked to the Egypt of
5,000 years ago by a
continuous, living tradition.
B.C. (The dates of the earliest rulers
are difficult to translate exactly into our calendar.) The transition
from prehistory to the First Dynasty is known as the predynastic period.
The Old Kingdom forms the first major division after that, ending about
B.C. with the overthrow of the Sixth Dynasty. This method
of counting historic time conveys at once the strong Egyptian sense of
continuity and the overwhelming importance of the pharaoh (king), who
was not only the supreme ruler but also a god. The pharaoh transcended
all people, for his kingship was not a duty or privilege derived from a
superhuman source, but was absolute, divine. This belief remained the
key feature of Egyptian civilization and largely determined the
character of Egyptian art. We do not know exactly the steps by which the
early pharaohs established their claim to divinity, but we know their
historic achievements: molding the Nile Valley from the first cataract
at Assuan to the Delta into a single, effective state, and increasing
its fertility by regulating the river waters through dams and canals.
The history of Egypt is divided into dynasties of rulers, in accordance
with ancient Egyptian practice, beginning with the First Dynasty shortly
TOMBS AND RELIGION.
Of these vast public works nothing remains today, and very little has
survived of ancient Egyptian palaces and cities. Our knowledge of
Egyptian civilization rests almost entirely on the tombs and their
contents. This is no accident, since these tombs were built to last
forever, yet we must not make the mistake of concluding that the
Egyptians viewed life on this earth mainly as a road to the grave. Their
preoccupation with the cult of the dead is a link with the Neolithic
past, but the meaning they gave it was quite new and different: the dark
fear of the spirits of the dead which dominates primitive ancestor cults
seems entirely absent. Instead, the Egyptian attitude was that each
person must provide for his or her own happy afterlife. The ancient
Egyptians would equip their tombs as a kind of shadowy replica of their
daily environment for their spirits (ka) to enjoy. They would
make sure that the ka had a body to dwell in (their own mummified
corpse or, if that should become destroyed, a statue of themselves).
There is a curious blurring of the sharp line between
life and death here, and perhaps that was the essential impulse behind
these mock households. People who knew that after death their kas
would enjoy the same pleasures they did, and who had provided these
pleasures in advance by their own efforts, could look forward to active
and happy lives without being haunted by fear of the great unknown. In a
sense, then, the Egyptian tomb was a kind of life insurance, an
investment in peace of mind. Such, at least, is the impression one gains
of Old Kingdom tombs. Later on, the serenity of this concept of death
was disturbed by a tendency to subdivide the spirit or soul into two or
more separate identities and by the introduction of a sort of judgment,
a weighing of souls. Only then do we also find expressions of the fear
52. People, Boats, and Animals.
Reconstruction drawing of wall painting in predynastic tomb,
ñ. 3200 B.C. Hierakonpolis,
52). The design is still
decidedly primitive in its character—an
even scattering of forms over the entire surface.
An early stage in the development of Egyptian funerary customs, and of
Egyptian art, can be seen in the fragment of a wall painting from
Hierakonpolis of about
It is instructive to note, however, that the human and
animal figures tend to become standardized, abbreviated "signs," almost
as if they were on the verge of turning into hieroglyphics (such as we
see in fig. 86).
The large white shapes are
boats. Their significance here seems to be that of funeral barges, or
"vehicles of the soul," since that is their role in later tombs. The
black-and-white figures above the topmost boat are mourning women, their
arms spread out in a gesture of grief. For the rest, the picture does
not appear to have any coherence as a scene or any symbolic import. At
first glance, it seems simply an early attempt at those typical scenes
of daily life that we meet several centuries later in Old Kingdom tombs
(compare figs. 70
However, the figure flanked by a pair of heraldic lions
at the bottom center of our illustration is such a striking anticipation
of the mythical hero on a Mesopotamian lyre 600
years later (see fig.
that the scene may well have a meaning we have yet to decipher.
53, 54. Palette of King Narmer
(two sides), from Hierakonpolis.
ñ. 3000 B.C. Slate, height
25" (63.5 cm).
Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Egyptian Style and the Palette of King Narmer
At the time of the Hierakonpolis mural, Egypt was in
the process of learning the use of bronze tools. The country, we may
assume, was ruled by a number of local sovereigns not too far removed
from the status of tribal chiefs. The fight scenes between black-bodied
and white-bodied men in the painting probably reflect local wars or
raids. Out of these emerged two rival kingdoms, Upper and Lower Egypt.
The struggle between them ended when the Upper Egyptian kings conquered
Lower Egypt and combined the two realms.
One of these was King Narmer, who appears on the
impressive object in figures
a ceremonial slate palette
celebrating a victory over Lower Egypt. (Note the different crowns worn
by the king.) It, too, comes from Hierakonpolis, but otherwise has
little in common with the wall painting. In many ways, the Narmer
palette can claim to be the oldest historic work of art we know. Not
only is it the earliest surviving image of a historic personage
identified by name, but its character is clearly no longer primitive. In
fact, it already shows most of the features of late Egyptian art. If
only we had enough preserved material to trace step-by-step the
evolution that led from the wall painting to this palette!
Let us first "read" the scenes on both sides. The fact
that we are able to do so is another indication that we have left
prehistoric art behind. The meaning of these reliefs is made clear and
explicit not only by means of hieroglyphic labels, but also through the
use of a broad range of visual symbols conveying precise messages to the
important of all—through
the disciplined, rational orderliness of the design. In figure
Narmer has seized a fallen enemy by the
hair and is about to slay him with his mace. Two more defeated enemies
are placed in the bottom compartment. (The small rectangular shape next
to the man on the left stands for a fortified town or citadel.) Facing
the king in the upper right we see a complex bit of picture writing: a
falcon standing above a clump of papyrus plants holds a tether attached
to a human head that "grows" from the same soil as the plants. This
composite image actually repeats the main scene on a symbolic level. The
head and papyrus plant stand for Lower Egypt, while the victorious
falcon is Horus, the local god of Upper Egypt. The parallel is plain.
Horus and Narmer are the same; a god triumphs over human foes. Hence,
Narmer's gesture must not be taken as representing a real fight. The
enemy is helpless from the very start, and the slaying is a ritual
rather than a physical effort. We gather this from the fact that Narmer
has taken off his sandals (the court official behind him carries them in
his right hand), an indication that he is standing on holy ground.
On the other side of the palette (fig.
54), he again appears barefoot, followed
by the sandal carrier, as he marches in solemn procession behind a group
of standard-bearers to inspect the decapitated bodies of prisoners. (The
same notion recurs in the Old Testament, apparently as the result of
Egyptian influence, when the Lord commands Moses to remove his shoes
before He appears to him in the burning bush.) The bottom compartment
reenacts the victory once again on a symbolic level, with the pharaoh
represented as a strong bull trampling an enemy and knocking down a
citadel. (A bull's tail hanging down from his belt is shown in both
images of Narmer; it was to remain a part of pharaonic ceremonial garb
for the next 3.000 years, i Only the center
section fails to convey an explicit meaning. The two long-necked beasts
and their attendants have no identifying attributes and may well be a
carry-over from earlier, purely ornamental palettes. In any event, they
do not reappear in Egyptian art.
LOGIC OF EGYPTIAN STYLE.
The new inner logic of the Narmer palette's style becomes readily
apparent in contrast to the predynastic wall painting. What strikes us
first is its strong sense of order. The surface of the palette has been
divided into horizontal bands, or registers, and each figure stands on a
line or strip denoting the ground. The only exceptions are the
attendants of the long-necked beasts, whose role seems mainly
ornamental; the hieroglyphic signs, which belong to a different level of
reality; and the dead enemies. The latter are seen from above, whereas
the standing figures are seen from the side. Obviously, the modern
notion of representing a scene as it would appear to a single observer
at a single moment is as alien to Egyptian artists as it had been to
their Neolithic predecessors. They strive for clarity, not illusion, and
therefore pick the most telling view in each case.
But they impose a strict rule on themselves. When the
angle of vision changes, it must be by 90
degrees, as if sighting along the edges of a cube. As a consequence,
only three views are possible: full face, strict profile, and vertically
from above. Any intermediate position is embarrassing. (Note the oddly
rubberlike figures of the fallen enemies at the bottom of figure
53.) Moreover, the
standing human figure does not have a single main profile but two
competing profiles, so that, for the sake of clarity, these views must
be combined. The method of doing this (which was to survive unchanged
for 2,500 years) is clearly shown in the large
figure of Narmer in figure 53: eye
and shoulders in frontal view, head and legs in profile. Apparentli this
formula was worked out so as to show the pharaoh and all persons of
significance who move in the aura of his divinity) in the most complete
way possible. And since the scenes depict solemn and, as it were,
timeless rituals, our artist did not have to concern himself with the
fact that this method of representing the human body made almost any
kind of movement or action practically impossible. In fact, the frozen
quality of the image would seem especially suited to the divine nature
of the pharaoh. Ordinary mortals act; he simply
Whenever physical activity demanding
any sort of effort or strain must be depicted, the Egyptian artist does
not hesitate to abandon the composite view if necessary, for such
activity is always performed by underlings whose dignity does not have
to be preserved. Thus in our palette the two animal trainers and the
four men carrying standards are shown in strict profile, except for the
eyes. The Egyptian style of representing the human figure, then, seems
to have been created specifically for the purpose of conveying in visual
form the majesty of the divine king. It must have originated among the
artists working for the royal court. It never lost its ceremonial,
sacred flavor, even when, in later times, it had to serve other purposes
The beauty of the style which we saw in the Narmer
palette did not develop fully until about three centuries later, during
the Third Dynasty, and especially under the reign of King Zoser, its
greatest figure. From the Tomb of Hesyra, one of Zoser's high officials,
comes the masterly wooden relief (fig. 55)
showing the deceased with the emblems of his rank. These include
writing materials, since the position of scribe was a highly honored
one. The view of the figure corresponds exactly to that of Narmer on the
palette, but the proportions are far more balanced and harmonious, and
the carving of the physical details shows keen observation as well as
great delicacy of touch.
Portrait Panel of Hesy-ra,
ñ 2660 B.C. Wood, height 45"
Egyptian Museum, Cairo
When we speak of the Egyptians' attitude toward death and afterlife as
expressed in their tombs, we must be careful to make it clear that we do
not mean the attitude of the average Egyptian but only that of the small
aristocratic caste clustered around the royal court. The tombs of the
members of this class of high officials, who were often relatives of the
royal family, are usually found in the immediate neighborhood of the
pharaohs' tombs. Their shape and contents reflect, or are related to,
the funerary monuments of the divine kings. We still have a great deal
to learn about the origin and significance of Egyptian tombs, but there
is reason to believe that the concept of afterlife we find in the
so-called private tombs did not apply to ordinary mortals but only to
the privileged few because of their association with the immortal
56. Group of
mastabas (after A. Badawy). 4th Dynasty
Transverse section of the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, Saqqara
The standard form of these tombs was the mastaba, a squarish mound faced
with brick or stone, above the burial chamber, which was deep
underground and linked to. the mound by a shaft (figs.
Inside the mastaba is a chapel for offerings to the
ka and a secret cubicle for the statue of the deceased. Royal
mastabas grew to conspicuous size as early as the First Dynasty, and
their exteriors could be elaborated to resemble a royal palace. During
the Third Dynasty, they developed into step pyramids. The best known
(and probably the first) is that of King Zoser (fig.
58), built over a
traditional mastaba (see figs. 57
The pyramid itself, unlike later examples, is a
completely solid structure whose only purpose seems to have been to
serve as a great landmark.
58. Step Pyramid of King Zoser, Saqqara.
Dynasty, ñ 2600 B.C.
59. Plan of the
funerary district of King Zoser, Saqqara
halt-columns, North Palace, Funerary district of King Zoser, Saqqara
Enough of its architecture has survived to make us
understand why its creator, Imhotep, came to be deified in later
Egyptian tradition. He is the first artist whose name has been recorded
in history, and deservedly so, since his achievement is most impressive
The modern imagination, enamored of "the silence of the pyramids," is
apt to create a false picture of these monuments. They were not erected
as isolated structures in the middle of the desert, but were part of
vast funerary districts, with temples and other buildings that were the
scene of great religious celebrations during the pharaoh's lifetime as
well as after. The most elaborate of these is the funerary district
around the Step Pyramid of Zoser (fig.
Egyptian architecture had begun with structures made of mud bricks,
wood, reeds, and other light materials. Imhotep used cut-stone masonry,
but his repertory of architectural forms still reflected shapes or
devices developed for less enduring materials. Thus we find columns of
several kinds—always engaged (set into the wall)
rather than freestanding—which echo the bundles
of reeds or the wooden supports that used to be set into mud-brick walls
in order to strengthen them. But the very fact that these members no
longer had their original functional purpose made it possible for
Imhotep and his fellow architects to redesign them so as to make them
serve a new, expressive purpose. The notion that architectural
forms can express anything may seem difficult to grasp at first. Today
we tend to assume that unless these forms have a clear-cut structural
service to perform, such as supporting or enclosing, they are mere
surface decoration. But let us look at the slender, tapering, fluted
columns in figure 58, or the
papyrus-shaped half-columns in figure 60.
These do not simply decorate the walls to which they are
attached, but interpret them and give them life. Their proportions, the
feeling of strength or resilience they convey, their spacing, the degree
to which they project—all share in this task.
We shall learn more about their expressive role when
we discuss Greek architecture, which took over the Egyptian stone column
and developed it further. For the time being, let us note one additional
factor that may enter into the design and use of such columns:
announcing the symbolic purpose of the building. The papyrus
half-columns in figure 60 are linked with Lower
Egypt (compare the papyrus plants in fig. 53);
hence they appear in the North Palace of Zoser's funerary
district. The South Palace has columns of different shape to evoke its
association with Upper Egypt.
58. Step Pyramid of King Zoser, Saqqara.
ñ 2600 B.C.
PYRAMIDS OF GIZA. 61
all of them of the smooth-sided shape. They originally
had an outer casing of carefully dressed stone, which has disappeared
except near the top of the Pyramid of Chefren. Each of the three differs
slightly from the others in details of design and construction, but the
essential features are shown in the section of the earliest and largest,
that of Cheops (fig. 63).
The burial chamber
is now near the center of the structure, rather than below ground as in
the Step Pyramid of Zoser. Clustered about the three great pyramids are
several smaller ones and a large number of mastabas for members of the
royal family and high officials, but the unified funerary district of
Zoser has given way to a simpler arrangement. Adjoining each of the
great pyramids to the east is a funerary temple, from which a
processional causeway leads to a second temple at a lower level, in the
Nile Valley, at a distance of about a third of a mile.
The development of the pyramid reaches its climax during the Fourth
Dynasty in the famous triad of great pyramids at Giza (figs.
61. The Pyramids of Mycerinus (c.
2470 B.C.), Chefren (c. 2500
B.C.), and Cheops (c. 2530 B.C.), Giza
62. Plan of the
pyramids at Giza. 1) Mycerinus;
2) Chefren; 31 Cheops
section of Pyramid of Cheops (after L. Borchardt)
It is, if anything, an even more impressive embodiment
of divine kingship than the pyramids themselves. The royal head rising
from the body of a lion towers to a height of 65
feet and once bore, in all probability, the
features of Chefren. (Damage inflicted upon it during Islamic times has
obscured the details of the face.) Its awesome majesty is such that a
thousand years later it could be regarded as an image of the sun-god.
Enterprises of this huge scale mark the high point of pharaonic power.
After the end of the Fourth Dynasty, less than two centuries later, they
were never attempted again, although much more modest pyramids continued
to be built. The world has always marveled at the sheer size of the
great pyramids as well as at the technical accomplishment they
represent. They have also come to be regarded as symbols of slave labor,
with thousands of men forced by cruel masters to serve the
aggrandizement of absolute rulers. Such a picture may well be unjust.
Certain records indicate that the labor was paid for, so that we are
probably nearer the truth if we regard these monuments as vast public
works providing economic security tor a good part of the population.
THE GREAT SPHINX.
Next to the valley temple of the Pyramid of Chefren stands the Great
Sphinx carved from the live rock (fig.
Carved of diorite, a stone of extreme
hardness, it shows the king enthroned, with the falcon of the god Horus
enfolding the back of the head with its wings. ( We encountered the
association, in different form, in the Narrner palette; fig.
Here the Egyptian sculptor's "cubic" view
of the human form appears in full force. Clearly the sculptor prepared
the statue by drawing its front and side views on the faces of a
rectangular block and then worked inward until these views met.
64. The Great Sphinx,
Giza. ñ. 2500 B.C. Height
65' (19.8 m)
Apart from its architectural achievements, the chief glories of Egyptian
art during the Old Kingdom and iater are the portrait statues recovered
from funerary temples and tombs. One of the finest is that of Chefren,
from the valley temple of his pyramid (fig.
65. Chefren, from Giza. ñ 2500
B.C. Diorite, height
66" (167.7 cm).
Egyptian Museum, Cairo
result is a figure almost overpowering in its three-dimensional firmness
and immobility. Truly it is a magnificent vessel for the spirit! The
body, well proportioned and powerfully built, is completely impersonal.
Only the face suggests some individual traits, as will be seen if we
compare it with that of Mycerinus (fig.
successor and the builder of the third and smallest pyramid at Giza.
Mycerinus. accompanied by his queen, is standing. Both
have the left loot placed forward, yet there is no hint of a forward
movement. Since the two are almost of the same height, they afford an
interesting comparison of male and female beauty as interpreted by one
of the finest of Old Kingdom sculptors, who knew not only how to
contrast the structure of the two bodies but also how to emphasize the
soft, swelling forms of the queen through her light and close-fitting
The sculptor who carved the statues of Prince Rahotep
and his wife Nofret (fig. 67) was
less subtle in this respect. They owe their strikingly lifelike
appearance to their vivid coloring, which they must have shared with
other such statues but which has survived completely intact only in a
few instances. The darker body color of the prince has no individual
significance; it is the standard masculine complexion in Egyptian art.
The eyes have been inlaid with shining quartz to make them look as alive
as possible, and the portrait character of the faces is very pronounced.
Mycerinus and His Queen, from
B.C. Slate, height
(142.3 cm). Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Prince Rahotep and His Wife Nofret.
ñ 2580 B.C.
Painted limestone, height 47
Standing and seated figures comprise the basic
repertory of Egyptian large-scale sculpture in the round. At the end of
the Fourth Dynasty, a third pose was added, as symmetrical and immobile
as the first two: that of the scribe sitting cross-legged on the ground.
The finest of these scribes dates from the beginning of the Fifth
Dynasty (fig. 68). The name of the
sitter (in whose tomb at Saqqara the statue was found) is unknown, but
we must not think of him as a secretary waiting to take dictation.
Rather, the figure represents a high court official, a "master of sacred—and
solid, incisive treatment of form bespeaks the dignity of his station,
which in the beginning seems to have been restricted to the sons of
pharaohs. Our example stands out not only for the vividly alert
expression of the face, but also for the individual handling of the
torso, which records the somewhat flabby body of a man past middle age.
Another invention of Old Kingdom art was the portrait
bust, a species of sculpture so familiar that we tend to take it for
granted; yet its origin is puzzling. Was it simply an abbreviated
statue, a cheaper substitute for a full-length figure? Or did it have a
distinct purpose of its own, perhaps as a remote echo of the Neolithic
custom of keeping the head of the deceased separate from the rest of his
Be that as it may, the earliest of these
busts (fig. 69)
is also the finest. Indeed, it is one of
the great portraits of all time. In this noble head, we find a memorable
image of the sitter's individual character as well as a most subtle
differentiation between the solid, immutable shape of the skull and its
soft, flexible covering of flesh, abetted by the well-preserved color.
68. Seated Scribe, from Saqqara.
B.C. Limestone, height
cm). Musee du Louvre, Paris
Bust of Vizier Ankh-haf, from
Giza. ñ 2520
B.C. Limestone, partially molded in plaster, height
Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Before we leave the Old Kingdom, let us look briefly at some of the
scenes of daily life from the offering chambers of nonroyal tombs, such
as that of the architectural overseer Ti at Saqqara. The hippopotamus
hunt in figure 70
is of special interest to us
because of its landscape setting. The background of the relief is formed
by a papyrus thicket. The stems of the plants make a regular, rippling
pattern that erupts in the top zone into an agitated scene of nesting
birds menaced by small predators. The water in the bottom zone, marked
by a zigzag pattern, is equally crowded with struggling hippopotamuses
and fish. All these, as well as the hunters in the first boat, are
acutely observed and full of action. Only Ti himself, standing in the
second boat, is immobile, as if he belonged to a different world. His
pose is that of the funerary portrait reliefs and statues (compare
and he towers above the other men, since
he is more important than they.
His size also lifts him out of the context of the
hunt. He neither directs nor supervises it, but simply observes. His
passive role is characteristic of the representations of the deceased in
all such scenes from the Old Kingdom. It seems to be a subtle way of
conveying the fact that the body is dead but the spirit is alive and
aware of the pleasures of this world, though the man can no longer
participate in them directly. We should also note that these scenes of
daily life do not represent the dead man's favorite pastimes. If they
did, he would be looking back, and such nostalgia is quite alien to the
spirit of Old Kingdom tombs. It has been shown, in fact, that these
scenes form a seasonal cycle, a sort of perpetual calendar of recurrent
human activities for the spirit of the deceased to watch year in and
year out. For the artist, on the other hand, these scenes, which partake
of both sculpture and painting, offered a welcome opportunity to widen
his powers of observation, so that in details we often find astounding
bits of realism.
Another relief from the Tomb of Ti shows some cattle
fording a river (fig.
One of the herders carries a newborn calf on his back to keep it from
drowning, and the frightened animal turns its head to look back at its
mother, who answers with an equally anxious glance. Such sympathetic
portrayal of an emotional relationship is as delightful as it is
unexpected in Old Kingdom art. It will be some time before we encounter
anything similar in the human realm. But eventually we shall even see
the deceased abandoning his passive, timeless stance to participate in
scenes of daily life.
Ti Watching a Hippopotamus Hunt.
Painted limestone relief
Tomb of Ti, Saqqara
Cattle Fording a River.
Detail of a painted limestone
relief, ñ 2400
Tomb of Ti, Saqqara