Goddesses, wives, artists, Egyptologists

Goddesses, wives, artists, Egyptologists
If you are excellent, found your household,
Love your wife within reckoning.
Fill her belly, clothe her back,
Ointment is the remedy for her body.
Gladden her heart as long as you live. [1]
Most people know a bit about some of the famous Queens of Egypt, but in this post I would like to introduce you to some new people and ideas.
Many of my readers with a basic understanding of ancient Egypt realise that women in that culture had considerably more rights and status than their counterparts in other ancient civilisations, and sadly, too many modern societies.
Whilst browsing the epigraphic survey of the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, I couldn't help but be put in in mind of the Teachings of Ptah hotep cited above when I saw these drawings of 19th Dynasty King Seti performing his duties in the shrine of Isis.
Seti had many daily duties in the temple as the intermediary between the people and the gods: opening the shrine doors, cleansing the sacred space, offering incense, food, and precious gifts. In these 2 images from the shrine of Isis, we see the king actually 'clothing' the goddess in fine linen.
Fine linen was an expensive and desirable luxury and its fineness was a signifier of wealth and status. Viewing the image in the light of the text seemed a gentle reminder of the comparatively egalitarian relationships of men and women in ancient Egypt across different social strata.
No ruler could perform these duties in every temple every day, so Seti (and other rulers) symbolically does so via these magical images and inscriptions. It is however, likely that the king did perform these duties personally on occasion.
The drawings posted below were made by two female Egyptologists who you may not have heard of: Amice Calverley and Myrtle F Broome. They also made magnificent coloured watercolour paintings of the temple which were published in "The Temple of King Sethos I at Abydos" in the late 1930s. The drawings posted below are from Volume I, which recorded the Chapel of Isis and are featured on the West Wall of the South side of the Chapel and the North Wall western section.
More on the Egyptologists/Epigraphers
Amice Calverley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amice_Calverley
Myrtle F. Broome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrtle_Florence_Broome
Full text of the teachings:
[1] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/museums-static/digitalegypt/literature/ptahhotep.html
Further Reading:
Although these books are now out of print, you can also download PDFs of the 4 volume set from the Oriental Institute. Links are to the download page not to the files themselves. (These files are LARGE as they contain full colour plate scans)
Volume I:
Volume II
Volume III
Volume IV
#InternationalWomensDay #IWD2018


  1. Oh cool there goes the Goddess of power

  2. Oh wait a minute that hathor i meant Goddess of life or magick


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