Ornament of Satis, daughter of Hor, c. 980 BC

Ornament of Satis, daughter of Hor, c. 980 BC
Period:Egypt, 3rd Intermediate Period, High-Priests And Priest-Kings Of Thebes, Pinudjem II
Dating:1000 BC–980 BC
Origin:Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes
Material:Faience (all types)
Physical:50cm. (19.5 in.) -

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Links to others from High-Priests And Priest-Kings Of Thebes

Ka statue, High-Priest of Thebes Period
Ornament of Satis, daughter of Hor, c. 980 BC
Overseer shawabti of Amenemope, c. 1000 BC
Overseer shawabti of Piankh, 1074-1070 BC
Red clayware shawabti of Ankhefenmut
Shawabti of Amenemope, c.1000 BC
Shawabti of Djedkhonswiwfankh, 1000 BC
Shawabti of General Amen, c. 1000 BC
Shawabti of Hor, c. 1020-975 BC
Shawabti of Nesitanebashru, 965 BC
Shawabti of Nespaheran, c. 1000 BC
Shawabti of Nespaiherhat, 1070-1030 BC
Shawabti of Nespakanwty, 1000-950 BC
Shawabti of Overseer Pahhmedat, 1000 BC
Shawabti of Pennamen, c. 1000 BC
Shawabti of Pinedjem II, 990-964 BC
Shawabti of Queen Henuttawy, c.1050 BC
Shawabti of Royal Scribe Idjedir, 1000 BC

Links to others of type Necklace

Gold and cornaline necklace, Alexandria
Ornament of Satis, daughter of Hor, c. 980 BC
  This is one of four funeral beadwork ornaments made for a noble woman named Satis. Sadly, this lady of royal blood, whose formidable family had continuously ruled Egypt for the 200 years since the reign of King Setnakhte (1185 BC), father of Ramesses III, only left a discreet memory of her presence in Thebes three thousand years ago. She died around 980 BC, before her father Hor, a high-ranking dignitary of the state. This necklace was most probably found in the Second Cache of Deir-el-Bahri.

This necklace presents an intricate pattern using an extensive, yet carefully selected palette of faience bead shapes and colors (long green tubes, mahogany red spheres, tiny black, white, red, brown and green rings). The composition is anchored by a large scarab inscribed with a dedication to its owner. The three rows of hieroglyphs read: “the king has made an offering to Osiris in front of the West, may he give. . . the beautiful coffin of her, as to Satis, the daughter of the Overseer of the Belongings to the Nome, the Prophet of Amun Hor in the neighborhood of the master of the throne of Thebes, its crown and scepter” (htp di nsw Wsir hnt imntt di f ... wdb nfr s stt ir sat imy-r ny spat, hm-neter Imn Hr sah nb st was hdt ).

A shawabti made for her father is in this collection as #900.

Hor, who died before his older brother Pinedjem II, had accumulated an impressive list of titles that included: prophet of Amun, god’s father of Khonsw, god’s father of Mut, prophet of Anubis and Konsw, prophet of Hathor at Gebelein, prophet of Khonshw-ity at Gebelein, prophet of Seth of Sepermerw, prophet of Amun of the Thrones of Two Lands, master of the Holy of Holies in Thebes. He was the brother of Pinedjem II the ruling king of Thebes (990-969), the son of Menkheperre the high priest of Thebes (1045-1032 BC) and king of Thebes (1032-992 BC), the grandson of Pinedjem I the high priest of Thebes (1070-1054 BC) and king of Thebes (1054-1032 BC) and of Queen Henuttawy (c.1085-1035 BC), daughter of Ramesses XI (1098-1070 BC), last king of Dynasty 20.

“The sarcophagus of Hor (Cairo 29619)… was one of the most sumptuous: It was a triple set, where the innermost gilded sarcophagus also served as a cartonnage… It also featured a short legend inscribed: ‘Hor, prophet of Amun, prophet of Seth and Separmerw, son of first prophet of Amun Menkheperre, true of voice.’ This inscription confirms that Hor was indeed related to the great priests. Found in the ‘great chamber,’ [of the Second Cache] the sarcophagus contained its mummy which according to Daressy, although ransacked in antiquity, still preserved its Osirian shroud, with wrappings and papyri that were inscribed (probably upon burial) to the name of the first prophet of Amun, Pinedjem, son of Menkheperre, year 3. His bright blue shawabtis, are amongst the best crafted. Finely sculpted faces, black striped, three-part hairpiece with a little frontal headband, lightly relieved hoes (in black as well): they are reminiscent—albeit smaller (12-14 cm instead of 16-18 cm)—of the shawabtis of his brother Pinedjem II” (Aubert 1998:81 #29, pl. 12).

Few artifacts are as emblematic of a culture as scarabs are of the Egyptian civilization. Over thousands of years, Egyptian craftsmen turned out several hundred thousand representations of scarabs, of every size and every material imaginable, of every type and level of refinement thinkable, and put them to a wide variety of uses for a wide segment of society. Egyptians were irresistibly drawn to these peculiar beetles, and they rapidly became an integral part of their lives—and deaths.

“From the Egyptian inscriptions we now know that the beetle, which they called Khepera, was a symbol of the god, who was the ‘father of the gods’, and the creator of all things which exist in heaven and earth. He formed himself out of the matter which he himself produced, and he was identified with the night-sun at the moment when it was about to rise for a new day, and thus typified matter about to change its form of existence, or matter about to come into existence, and resurrection and new birth generally.” (Budge 1896:186)

Indeed, long before all the other trappings of Egyptian culture had been established, the people of the Nile valley already buried alongside their dead terracotta jars filled with these dung beetles. What was it about the behavior of the insect species Scarabaeus sacer that so irrevocably struck the imagination of these early Egyptians? Here was a creature that attracted attention by its relentless toil of rolling a large ball along, then buried itself deep underground with its loot. Eventually, what appeared to be the same ball resurfaced with a new beetle within, ready to burst forth. For a humanity in desperate need of tales of rebirth after burial, how could you ask for a more compelling symbol?

Once adopted, the beetle rewarded Egyptians with other potent symbolic meanings. The globe it pushed on the surface evoked the solar globe overhead, and Egyptians liked to imagine the sun as pushed along by an invisible cosmic scarab. The illusion that scarabs reproduced asexually by spontaneous generation satisfied the Egyptians’ longing for an explanation to the mystery of the beginning of the world, which they could only explain by such an act of spontaneous generation (i.e.: The scarab solved the vexing paradox of the chicken and the egg). As the god Khepri, the scarab became a creator god, as well as the agent of the daily rebirth of the sun.

But despite the privileged place of the scarab in the collective imagination of Egyptians, “it was not until two thousand years later, during the sixth dynasty of the Old Kingdom that crafted scarabs first appeared in ancient Egypt” (Redford 2001:180). Initially, these “artificial scarabs” were simply images imbued with the same aura of rebirth as the insect itself, and were used strictly as amulets. But once Egyptians realized that the underside of the scarab could become a vehicle for the expression of secondary symbolism, scarabs diversified into countless styles and uses.

The first obvious step was to supplement the power of the scarab by engraving an image or the name of another god, often that of the king—the living god of Egypt. One step removed was the inscription of an epithet referring to the god. Again, this was often a reference to the living god, such as Master of Upper and Lower Egypt. Alternately, Egyptians engraved a variety of auspicious messages with and without recourse to divinities. During the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period, there was a trend towards completely abstract, geometric decoration with increasingly complicated designs and borders. Scarabs inscribed with the name and title of their owner were used as seals, often worn as bezels on finger rings (Egyptians did not have locks on doors or coffers. The only security from theft was provided by tamper-evident clay seals). But, according to Andrews (1994:53), scarabs “soon lost their preeminence as seals to the solid-metal signet ring, which was far better able to withstand the pressure exerted during sealing.” Starting with the New Kingdom, scarabs found new uses as commemorative objects, used much like commemorative medals are today. Redford (2001:180) notes that Amenhotep III issued sixty kinds to commemorate his marriage to Queen Tye, six for his diplomatic marriage to the princess of Mittani Gilukherpa, a dozen to celebrate the completion of a pleasure lake in Thebes, and two more series to vaunt his prowess as big game hunter. It is also during the New Kingdom that scarabs were made in the honor of great pharaohs of the past (such as Thotmose III).

The vast majority of the production was fashioned out of material that was inexpensive and easy to work with: faience and soapstone. Soapstone (steatite) was particularly well suited to the manufacture of scarabs, as it is naturally soft and easy carved and polished, but can thereafter be hardened by the application of an attractive colored glaze. Consequently, soapstone scarab amulets worn on a simple cord were accessible to all layers of Egyptian society. People of means preferred to wear scarabs made of more valuable materials (gems, precious metals), within gold or silver settings.

Although most scarabs were intended to be worn by the living, a different type of scarab, the heart scarab, was developed after the Middle Kingdom specifically for mortuary use. Placed on or in the mummy, large as the palm of the hand, inscribed with Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead, and almost invariably made of some green material, its “purpose was to ensure that the heart, regarded as the seat of intellect and conscience, would not bear false witness against the deceased in the Hall of Judgment as the opening lines ‘Oh my heart, oh my mother. . . stand not up against me as witness,’ reveal” (Redford 2001:180). Andrews (1994:56) takes a more cynical view of their intended purpose: “it would allow anyone who possessed it to live a totally reprehensible life and still enter the heaven.”

Scarabs were found to be such ideal conveyors of messages, that other creatures—cats, ducks, frogs, hedgehogs, etc.—were carved into objects analogous to scarabs, which are termed “scaraboids” by archeologists. The ‘diversification’ of scarabs would not end there, as scarabs quickly became a popular export for merchants, who spread them all over the ancient world, occasionally fostering local derivatives of the Egyptian tradition. Amusingly, two thousand years ago, Roman travelers in Egypt commonly brought back to their friends as curios the same handful of scarabs as modern tourists do today.

Bibliography (for this item)

Andrews, Carol
1984 Egyptian Mummies. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Aubert, Liliane
1998 Les Statuettes Funeraires de la Deuxieme Cachette à Deir el-Bahari. Cybele, Paris, France. (Pl. XII, 81 # 29)

Khalil, Hassan M.
1976 Preliminary Studies on the Sanusret Collection. Manuscript, Musée l’Egypte et le Monde Antique, Monaco-Ville, Monaco. ([III]53-59

Bibliography (on Hor)

Aubert, Liliane
1998 Les Statuettes Funeraires de la Deuxieme Cachette à Deir el-Bahari. Cybele, Paris, France. (pl. 12)

Clayton, Peter A.
1994 Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames and Hudson, London, UK. (171, 175)

Gauthier, Henri
1912 Le livre des rois d’Egypte. Tome 1: des origines à la fin de la XIIe dynastie. Institut Français d’Archeologie Orientale, Cairo, Egypt.

Bibliography (on Scarab)

Andrews, Carol
1994 Amulets of Ancient Egypt. University of Texas Press, Texas.

Budge, E. A. Wallis, Sir
1896 Some Account of the Collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the Posession of Lady Meux, of Theobald’s Park. 2nd edition. Harrison & sons, London, United Kingdom.

Hart, George
1986 A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, United Kingdom.

Redford, Donald B.
2001 Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press, London.

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