Archaism and innovation: tomb decoration in the Middle Kingdom

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


Conference presentation.

A survey of Middle Kingdom elite tomb decoration illustrates strongly resembles the style and scene content of Old Kingdom temple and tomb decoration, which several scholars propose is directly linked to the establishment of scribal schools and formalized artisan training in the early Middle Kingdom that was based on Old Kingdom artistic tradition. The best evidence for the new artistic training established in the Eleventh Dynasty can be found on the stela of an artist named Irtysen (Louvre C14), who describes his skills in painting and sculpting in detail, and possibly even the application of artist's copyists grids to various Old Kingdom monuments such as the causeway reliefs of Sahure or certain scenes in the tomb of Ptah-hotep at Saqqara.

In an attempt to highlight the extent to which Middle Kingdom elite tomb decoration was influenced by the artistic conventions and traditions of the Old Kingdom, this paper will examine 2 artistic themes in detail including the tomb owner spearing fish and fowling in the marshlands, also referring to the tomb owner fowling with a clapnet and hunting in the desert.
Period23 Jul 2011
Event titleSecond Australasian Egyptology Conference
Event typeConference
LocationAuckland, New Zealand