A rather lovely and very rare Meroitic fragment stucco (plaster) fragment painted with the portrait of the god Osiris was in my hands a few years ago, and now it's back here again.
Meroe (modern Sudan/Nubia) was called by the ancient Egyptians The kingdom of Kush. The god of the Underworld is depicted wearing a very detailed Atef Crown. He also wears an elaborate pectoral collar around his neck and holds a crook and flail across his chest. The false beard can also be seen, painted in black, and protruding from the chin. The pigments used to paint this piece are unusual in their variety and include blue, red, pink, white, brown and black.
Fragment as shown, repaired from several pieces.
Fairly nicely mounted in a box frame which can either hang on a wall or stand upright with the support arm at the back.
Size: 84mm x 70 mms inclisive of the smal fragment which is not behind the glass frame.
1st or 2nd Century AD Ex. Swiss collection. Previously with Helios Gallery, 2007.
Meroe located to the south of Egypt was heavily influenced by its larger neighbour and on occasion the two kingdoms were ruled in unison. Much of the Meroitic pantheon of gods was borrowed from the Egyptians. There has been a renewed interest in the ancient cultures of >Sudan in recent years. A very informative introduction to this subject was published in 1996 by Derek A. Welsby, an experienced field archaeologist who has been excavating in the Sudan for the past two decades. He is Assistant Keeper in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities in the Britis hMuseum where he is in charge of the Sudanese collections. In his The Kingdom of Kush, he outlines the history and culture of the Napatan and Meroitic empires. The early rulers of these people even controlled Egypt and therefore formed the XXVth dynasty (ca. 747-656 BC). These kingdoms dated from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.