Burial of Ny-ankh-pepi Kem

Site: Meir, Tomb: Tomb A1


Tooley-1989 pp. 11-12: One of the largest pre-MK groups of models was located in a floor niche in tomb A1 of ny-anx-ppy-km at Meir (Legrain 1900, 66-9; Borchardt 1911, 154-163; 1897, 121, 123, 126-7, 131-2, 133; Stevenson-Smith 1949, 94f, 97-101; Breasted 1948, 3f, 6-74). The models were at a depth of 1m covered by a stone slab and the shaft filled with rubble. The models included a statuette of the tomb owner, 9 model boats and fragments of others (CG 4880-4893 Reisner 1913, 51-60, XII-XV) and some 17 servant figures (CG 236, CG 237, CG 238, CG 239, CG 240, CG 241, CG 242, CG 243, CG 244, CG 245, CG 246, CG 247, CG 249, CG 250, CG 251, CG 252, CG 253, CG 254 Borchardt 1911, 155-163, bl. 49-55).

The servant models may be divided into 2 groups by their distinct workmanship, each group forming a set, evidently the work of 2 separate craftsmen. The first group is characterised by the fine carving of the heads, in particular the faces, cheek bones, brow bones, noses, well defined eyes, mouths and high quality finishing (CG 236 CG 240, CG 241, CG 243, CG 244, CG 245, CG 246, CG 248).

The second group, whilst closely resembling the first set are less accomplished and less finely finished (CG 237, CG 238, CG 239, CG 242, CG 247, CG 249, CG 250, CG 251, CG 252, CG 253). It is unclear into which set the model ox, CG 254 is to be placed.

A comparison of activities such as CG 240 with CG 252, the kneading of dough, CG 245 with CG 242, roasting a duck over an open hearth, CG 243 with CG 247, oven stokers, and most strikingly CG 241 with CG 250, offering-bearers, indicates that the difference in quality is the result of different hands and not importance of particular activities. These models, entirely of wood, are predominantly single figures, occasionally pairs, rarely a group of 3. The activities depicted are of milling (CG 237), milling in combination with beer mashing (CG 239, CG 246, CG 253), cleaning the interior of beer jars (CG 244, CG 251), making dough into cakes (CG 240, CG 252), stoking an oven (CG 238, CG 243, CG 247), roasting a spitted duck over a hearth (CG 242, CG 245), a man with a hoe in his hand ready to break the ground (CG 249. H.29 cms. Borchardt 1911, 161, bl. 54; Breasted 1948, 6; Stevenson-Smith 1949, 101; Vandier 1978, 6-7 seen in the corpus for the first time), a naked dancing girl (CG 248), a pack ox (CG 254), a male porter (CG 241) and a group of 3 female offering-bearers (CG 250). It is evident that whilst the models duplicate themselves, they do not fall neatly into sets 1 or 2 as expected. The style of the kA-figure (CG 236), shaven headed and wearing the long triangular kilt held in the right hand shows strong provincial characteristics in the rendering of the face. The pose is one found from the 5 dyn. up to the late 11 dyn. (Vandier 1958, 141-2, 229-230, XLIII:5. PME X), the style, however, suggests that it is 6 dyn. or a little later (cf. Strudwick 1985, 176 for a mid 6 dyn. date).

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