Relief Fragment Depicting Meret-Teti-iyet with Offerings
First Intermediate Period, Dynasty 10, about 2025 BCE
Egyptian; offering niche of Meret-Teti-iyet, Teti Pyramid Cemetery, Saqqara, Egypt
About this artwork
This pair of panels (along with 1910.224) was part of a painted offering niche designed for a woman named Meret-Teti-iyet. The fragmentary upper scenes depict people bringing offerings to sustain her in the afterlife. Meret-Teti-iyet sits behind piles of food at the bottom of each panel, facing approaching visitors. On this panel, she holds a closed lotus blossom on her lap; on the other one, she sniffs an open lotus flower. The lotus, which opens with the rising sun and sinks beneath the water at night, was a symbol of renewal and rebirth in ancient Egypt.
Inscriptions across panel: "The Beloved Lady of (King) Teti Comes"; the revered in the presence of Anubis, him who is upon his mountain, the embalmer, Merettetiyiyet."; "
1000 loaves of bread, 1000 jars of beer, 1000 oxen, 1000 geese, for the revered one, Merettetiyiyet"; "lassoing an ox".
73.4 × 57 × 12 cm (28 7/8 × 22 7/16 × 4 3/4 in.)
W. Moses Willner Fund
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Art Institute of Chicago, Thirty-second Annual Report: June 1, 1910–June 1, 1911 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1911), pp. 19, 62.
J.E. Quibell, Excavations at Saqqara (1906-1907) (Institut français d’archéologie orientale, 1908), pp. 18, 73, pl. X.2 (ill.).
Thomas George Allen, A Handbook of the Egyptian Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1923), pp. 29, 30 (ill.), 31-32, 35, 39 notes 1-2.
C. Ransom Williams, “Review: The Chicago Art Institute Egyptian Collection,” The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, 41, 3 (April 1925), p. 204-05.
Bertha Porter and Rosalind L.B. Moss, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings. III: Memphis. Part 2: Saqqâra to Dahshûr, 2nd ed. (Griffith Institute/Ashmolean Museum, 1981), p. 563.
Nadine Cherpion, Mastabas et hypogées d’ancien empire: le problème de la datation (Connaissance de l’Égypte Ancienne, 1989), pp. 153, 164, 170, 175, 177, 230, 240.
Khaled Daoud, Necropoles Memphiticae: Inscriptions from the Herakleopolitan Period (Alexandria: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 2011), 304-306, fig. 115.
Art Institute of Chicago, Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt, Feb. 11, 2022 - present.
The Art Institute of Chicago, acquired in 1910.
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