“One night… in dreaming… came to me… the spirit of the sphinx. In his passing, he spoke unto me words of great wisdom. ‘Thutmosis, here is your true destiny: This land of Egypt is forever yours to rule. In return, protect me always from the sands of time. As you are, I must be free from head to toe. So that we both may see the divine beauty of creation.’ ”

the God Osiris Onnophri (Wnn-nfrw, “He Who is always benevolent”) enthroned inside a shrine, holding the ‘Heqa’-scepter and the Flail, and wearing the White Crown with two feathers. In front of Him, a bouquet of papyrus and lotus flowers.
Detail from the “House of Eternity” of Menna, “Scribe of the fields of the Lord of the Two Lands” during the reigns of King Thutmosi IV and Amenhotep III, TT69, west 'Uaset’-Thebes.

hypnotoad4  asked:

I had a quick question, how did the ancient Egyptians mold gold into the sculptures that they wanted? I can imagine it must have been very hard to gather up and mold gold properly with so little technology available?

The Egyptians had a great deal of technology, it just didn’t work in the same way as ours. 

Gold (nbw) was one of the first metals to be exploited in Egypt. The gold of the mountains, as the scribes of Ramses III called it, was found mainly in the Eastern Desert and Nubia. The Koptos gold for instance was mined in the Bekhen mountains. Seti gave these mines to a small temple he had built and dedicated to Amen, Re, Osiris and a number of other gods. The workers mining the gold, the “flesh of the gods”, for the temple were exempt from any other work. 

In the Wadi Hammamat where gold-containing quartz was found, the underground quartz veins were mined by crushing the rock before the gold could be extracted. This required a great deal of manpower, provisioned only with difficulty in these deserted regions. Other pharaohs tried to follow Seti’s example by excavating wells in various location, with little success. Another attempt of Seti I resulted in a dry well 120 cubits deep which was abandoned. Only the perseverance of his son Ramses II brought success.
Before smashing the stone it was heated making it brittle and then broken up with stone hammers and in later times with iron chisels. The oval stone hammers were about twenty centimetres long, made of basalt or diorite and weighed from one to three kilogrammes. A wooden handle was inserted in a deep groove and fastened to it. The chunks of ore were smashed with small hammers and ground in mills similar to corn mills. The resulting dust was then washed and the metal extracted.
In Nubia two such installations for extracting gold were discovered. The ore was spread on declining surfaces, and the gold washed out which was then caught in some sort of sieve. Greek sources speak of sheep fleeces being used for this purpose. Wall reliefs dating from 2300 BC show stages of refining and working of gold.

The oldest map of a mine in existence - possibly dating to the Ramesside period - is that of a gold mine. It shows mountain ranges separated by parallel valleys, joined by a winding valley. A water cistern is marked, as is a stela of Seti I. Opposite these two landmarks are the openings of four galleries, further mine shafts are marked in the adjacent hill.

A 2001 article by D.Klemm, R.Klemm, & A.Murr (here as a PDF) would illuminate this further.

As for the working of gold, the Egyptians knew two kinds of bonding metals: welding and soldering. As early as the Middle Kingdom little pieces of jewellery were welded together. The part which had to be added had a melting point a bit below that of the main part, was heated until it became malleable and could be affixed. Then the whole artefact was heated over a ceramic furnace. A blowpipe with a clay nozzle were used to increase the heat.
 Because of the fact that the tongs were made of bronze with a melting point of 1030°C, below that of gold (1063°C) and barely above that of silver (950°C), quite a bit of dexterity was required of the artisan. Fast action was needed, before the tool could heat up too much.
 Soldering was known since the 4th dynasty at least. For soft-soldering tin (melting point 232°C) was used, when hard-soldering or brazing pieces of gold a mixture of gold, silver and frequently copper (melting point 1083°C) was applied. In order to de-oxidize the metal surfaces a flux was needed, possibly natron or lees of wine. Hard-soldering was often preferred to the easier process of soft-soldering as the artefact could be reheated without the bond melting.

(Scene from the tomb of Rekhmire, New Kingdom c.1500 BC) 

As for molds, they were usually done through the use of the lost wax technique. The Egyptians were practicing cire perdue from the mid 3rd millennium BC, shown by Early Dynastic bracelets and gold jewellery. Inserted spouts for ewers (copper water vessels) from the Fourth Dynasty (Old Kingdom) were made by the lost-wax method. Hollow castings, such as the Louvre statuette from the Fayum find appeared during the Middle Kingdom, followed by solid cast statuettes (like the squatting, nursing mother, in Brooklyn) of the Second Intermediate/Early New Kingdom. The hollow casting of statues is represented in the New Kingdom by the kneeling statue of Thutmosis IV (British Museum, London) and the head fragment of Ramesses V (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge). Hollow castings become more detailed and continue into the Eighteenth Dynasty, shown by the black bronze kneeling figure of Tutankhamun (Museum of the University of Pennsylvania). Cire Perdue is used in mass-production during the Late Period to Graeco-Roman times when figures of deities were cast for personal devotion and votive temple offerings. Nude female-shaped handles on bronze mirrors were cast by the lost-wax process. 

However, objects like the gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun were made from sheets of gold that were beaten and polished into shape. 

An article by T.G.H.James can be found here.

Information on mining and gold working taken from Reshafim (x) (x)

For further reading, I’d suggest Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology by I.Shaw and P.Nicholson.

Egyptian Basalt Bust of Thutmose III, 18th Dynasty, Reign of Tuthmosis III, 1479-1426 BC

Thutmose III is perhaps best known as a great military commander and a large number of successful campaigns are attested during his reign, during which time he notably expanded Egypt’s boundaries. He is also well known as the young prince whose stepmother, Hatshepsut, initially ruled Egypt as co-regent. After her death in 1468 B.C., the king began his sole reign, which was marked by extensive building and reconstruction projects, particularly at Karnak.

This bust is probably from an enthroned statue of the king. He is wearing a ribbed ceremonial beard with chin-straps in relief, and the nemes-headcloth with alternating wide and narrow stripes and striated lappets and queue.


Userhat recieves offerings, alongside his wife and Mother.

Userhat, a commoner of the 19th Dynasty, had a most unusual position, apparently with grave responsibilities. He was called Neferhabef, “First prophet of the Royal Ka of Tuthmosis I”. Of course in ancient Egypt, the Ka was a person’s soul. Actually, this means that he served in the cult temple of Tuthmosis I, probably “the Mansion of the Ka of Aakheperkare, as the Temple of Thutmosis was named. He actually served during the reigns of Ramesses I and Seti I. We know that his mother and father were Khensem and Tausert, that he had another wife named Shepset (Hatshepsut), along with two other wives and probably one son and one daughter. The names of the second two wives, however, were obliterated from his tomb, TT 51, in the area know as the Tombs of the Nobles on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). This tomb is not to be confused with an apparent other Userhat who occupied tomb number 56.

detail from a lintel of King Thutmosi I (ca. 1504-1492 BCE) from the Temple of Seth at ’Nwbt’ (now known as “Naqada”, in the V nome of Upper Egypt). Now in the Cairo Museum…
Seth giving the ‘Ankh’ (Life) with the 'Uas’-scepter (symbol of Power and Dominion) to Horus represented in His form of sacred Falcon wearing the Double Crown. Horus is perched on the top of the 'serekh’ (palace facade) with the “Horus name” of King Thutmosi I:
K3-nḫt-mrj-M3ˁt , whose meaning is “Victorious Bull Beloved of Maat”


A quick look at: Gezer, one of the main Canaanite cities of pre-Israelite Palestine.

First of all, a little historical context:

During the Middle Bronze Age, ca. 2000-1500 B.C.E., Gezer grew into one of the most massively fortified Canaanite sites in Palestine. […] This period was brought to an end ca. 1482 B.C.E. in a violent destruction, no doubt to be attributed to Pharaoh Thutmosis III. […] A decline in the 13th century B.C.E. was followed by a localized destruction, probably the work of Pharaoh Merneptah […] According to both archaeology and the Biblical tradition (cf. Josh 10:31-33) Gezer was not destroyed in the Israelite conquest. There are at least five levels on the summit that reflects continued Canaanite occupation, plus incursions of Philistines, in the 12th and 11th centuries B.C.E.

W. Mills, R. Bullard, 

Mercer Dictionary of the Bible, Mercer University Press, 1990.

The Standing Stones at Gezer are shown in the first image. The meaning and function of these stones are debated; popular explanations include the suggestions that they represented other cities who owed tribute to Gezer or represented Canaanite deities. In the third photo is the six-chambered gate at Tel Gezer -the fortification of Gezer has been attributed to Solomon in biblical texts.

Shown in the second photo is a reproduction of the Gezer calendar. Discovered in 1908, this calendar is one of the oldest surviving Hebrew texts, and provides us with key information about the ancient Israel agricultural cycle. Scholars have suggested that this calendar could have been a schoolboy’s memory exercise, or the text of a popular children’s/ folk song. The calendar reads the following (via: Michael D. Coogan, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament, Oxford University Press, 2009):

  • Two months gathering (September, October)
  • Two months planting (November, December)
  • Two months late sowing (January, February)
  • One month cutting flax (March)
  • One month reaping barley (April)
  • One month reaping and measuring grain (May)
  • Two months pruning (June, July)
  • One month summer fruit (August)

The original tablet is currently displayed at the Museum of the Ancient Orient, Turkey.

Photos courtesy & taken by Ian Scott.

Egyptian Religious Calendar

Today 18 September 2017 - XXIX day of Tekhy, the first month of the Lunar Calendar (in the CDXVIII Great Year of Ra according to the Civil Calendar).

Today begins the highly sacred “Beautiful Opet-Feast” dedicated to the celebration of the Sacred Marriage between the God Amon and the Goddess Mut, that is one of the most important festivities of the Egyptian Religious Calendar.
Best wishes to all for these holy and blessed days!!!

Religious Prescriptions:
Favorable day
“Favorable is to do everything on this day.” [c.c. verso XXIV]

Religious Festivities:
The XXIX day of the lunar month is sacred to Atum. It is the “Feast of the Attender” and Utetj-itef is the God of the Feast.

- “It is the day of the going forth of Nun to set up the Noble One (Osiris) in His place (/‘Temple’) (…).”
[c.c. and S. pap.]

- “Feast of Ptah, Master of the Workshop.”

- “Feast of Amon in the Ipet-Resyt Temple.”
(eleven-day festivity, V day)
[T. Thutmosis III, Elephantine]

- “Opet-Feast of Amon (twenty-four days, I day),
offerings for Amon-Ra with His Ennead and the portable image of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Ramses III.”
[T. Ramses III]

- “Procession of the Goddess Hathor and Her Ennead (…).”
(fifteen days, I day)
[T. Behdet, c. Hathor]

- “Feast of Amon in His Opet.”
[T. Iunyt]

(quotes from
“Egyptian Religious Calendar: CDXVII-CDXVIII Great Year of Ra (2017CE)”, where you will find the full version of the Egyptian Calendar with the complete translation of the Temples’ calendars. The book is available both in paperback format and as a digital ebook: )

aerial view of 'Ipet-sut’ (now known as “Karnak”), the highly sacred Precinct of the God Amon-Ra at 'Uaset’-Thebes

Mummified head of Thutmose III
Thutmose III (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis III, Thothmes in older history works, and meaning Thoth is born) was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose’s reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While he was shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. He served as the head of her armies.

‘Ipet-Sut’ (“Karnak”), the highly sacred Precinct of the God Amon-Ra at 'Uaset’-Thebes,
Festival Hall of King Thutmosis III (the 'Akhmenu’):
detail of a column from the Pillared Hall with the “Horus name” of King Thutmosis III:
K3-nḫt ḫˁj-m-W3st, whose meaning is “The strong Bull Who appears in 'Uaset’-Thebes”

“House of Eternity” of Userhat, “First Prophet-priest of the Royal ‘Ka’-spirit of King Thutmosi I”, west 'Uaset’-Thebes (TT51); Userhat lived during the reigns of Horemheb, Ramses I, and Sethi I.
Detail from the scenes of the “Ritual Journey to Abydos”, facsimile painting by Norman de Garis Davies (1865–1941).
The return from Abydos: inside the cabin of the barque (with mast and sails) are represented Userhat and his wife Hatshepsut (“Lady of the house” and “Chantress of the God Amon”).

the Eastern Temple of King Ramses II, called “The Temple of Amon-Ra-Harakhty Who hears the petitions”, located at the far eastern side of ‘Ipet-Sut’ (“Karnak”), the highly sacred precinct of the God Amon-Ra at 'Uaset’-Thebes:
the two colossal Osirian statues of King Ramses II in the Outer Hall of the Temple.
On the background, the “Chapel of the Hearing Ear”, that is the Contra Temple of King Thutmosis III located on the rear wall of the Festival Hall of King Thutmosis III (the 'Akhmenu’)