Tonight I downloaded Kim Klassen's photoshop recipe book, which I naughtily purchased last week. I love the way she uses the textures she creates, and it is fun to play around with them too.
Below is a photo from last week at the British Museum. This is what my current banner is-the blurred photo of these shabtis which I took on my phone before taking this one.
'O shabti, if (the deceased) be summoned to do any work which has to be done in the realm of the dead, to make arable the fields, to irrigate the land, or to convey the sand from east to west, 'Here I am', you shall say, 'I shall do it'.
These beautiful objects were buried with the dead in ancient Egypt, to do the work in the afterlife. In a totally superficial way, I just love all the colours, especially the turquoise ones. In a less superficial way I find the purpose of them most interesting and also quite practical.
As part of the day, we were allowed to handle an artefact, in order to generate questions about it. This is the object. Oh how tempting to slip it into my bag, though it would have been hard to get away with it in a lecture theatre filled with eagle eyed teachers! I think I will add the more clear picture of it, before I fiddled with it in photoshop, as you can see the writing more clearly.
We had to guess what the purpose of the object might have been, looking at clues in the object itself. We guessed it had some spiritual significance because of the use of the scarab, and obviously held some kind of message.
'My heart of my Mother, my heart of my Mother, my heart of my form. Do not stand against me in witness. Do not turn me back at the council. Do not make your rebellion against me in the presence of the keeper of the balance. You are my ka in my body which (rules and strengthens my limbs-this part is unclear-not on the scarab but in my scrawled notes-so may not be right!) You have come forth to the beautiful place. Do not make my name to stink to the nobles of the court. Do not speak lies against me at the side of my God.'
This is a heart stone, and was buried with the mummified corpse, placed over the heart. I saw one of these on a displayed Mummy. In the books of the dead, it shows the dead Egyptian appearing before Anubis. There are scales, and the heart of the deceased is weighed against the feather of truth. If the deceased has done many bad deeds in their life then their heart will have grown heavy, and so will weigh more than the feather. This did not bode well for you in the after life. So, the purpose of the stone was a kind of shield against being condemned by the feather of truth. It is amazing to hold something so old and with such a story. The museum man made the point that we were all now part of the story of the stone, so this blog post is also part of its story.
I came home tonight and did all the work I intend to do this weekend, so have two full days clear. Not sure what to do tomorrow, either the garden or go out somewhere-will see what the weather does. Autumn has arrived with the first of the month! Wind, rain and chilliness!