Ancient Egypt, Late Dynastic Period, Dynasty 26, ca. 664 to 525 BCE. A well preserved wooden head rest, carved in 3 sections, used to support the head of a mummy. Headrests were essential parts of the Egyptian sleeping area. Headrests of this type (constructed from two or more separate sections) are believed to have had several functions. The Egyptians normally slept on their sides and the curved upper section held the head above the bed. At their most prosaic, the headrests were frequently buried with the mummy providing a place to rest the deceased's head and were found inside the coffin. However, the importance of having the head elevated was integral with their religious practices as it was intended to aid in resurrection mimicking the sun god rising above the horizon and playing a part in the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony described in the "Book of the Dead." Size: 8" W x 7.5" H (20.3 cm x 19 cm)
Provenance: private New York, New York, USA collection; ex-private prominent D.K. collection, New York, USA, acquired in the 2000s
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Minor losses to a few small areas, upper cradle rests on middle support with no way to secure. The wooden surface is weathered and has light deposits, but the form is well preserved. Remains of gesso are visible on the surface.