Ancient Egypt

Middle and New Kingdom

New Kingdom pharaohs controlled vast wealth. Thebes was the religious center of the period, and Pharaohs built mortuary temples here and were buried in huge rock-cut tombs. These massive building projects demonstrate the power and wealth of the New Kingdom.

c. 2030 - 1070 B.C.E.

All works | Middle and New Kingdom

Hunefer, Book of the Dead
Hunefer, Book of the Dead

Full of spells, prayers, and incantations, the Book of the Dead helped on the journey to the afterlife.

A bottle and a toy: Objects from daily life
A bottle and a toy: Objects from daily life

Egyptian archaeological finds tend to be remnants of the rich—little remains from the rest of society.

Paintings from the Tomb-chapel of Nebamun
Paintings from the Tomb-chapel of Nebamun

Scenes show Nebamun’s family at work and play, giving vibrant insight into the lives of ancient Egyptian elites.

The tomb-chapel of Nebamun
The tomb-chapel of Nebamun

These lush wall paintings have been called “antiquity’s equivalent to Michelangelo.”

<em>Head of Tutankhamun</em>
Head of Tutankhamun

At only 6 years old, Tutankhamun is crowned pharaoh by the god Amun-Ra.

Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis
Ancient Thebes with its Necropolis

From temples on the east bank of the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, Thebes was a wonder of Egyptian Civilization.

<em>Standing Hippopotamus</em>
Standing Hippopotamus

This hippopotamus, found in a tomb, carries symbols of life and death, regeneration and chaos—why was it broken?

<em>Hunefer’s Judgement in the presence of Osiris</em>
Hunefer’s Judgement in the presence of Osiris

Did Hunefer live an ethical life? See the judgment of the Egyptian gods—who weigh Hunefer’s heart.

<em>Portrait Head of Queen Tiye</em>
Portrait Head of Queen Tiye

Tiye was a powerful figure, but her royal life was complicated, as demonstrated through this changing statue.

Thutmose, <em>Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti</em>
Thutmose, Model Bust of Queen Nefertiti

Found in an artist’s studio, this stunning bust exemplifies a change in style, and may have been an early prototype.

<em>House Altar depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Three of their Daughters</em>
House Altar depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Three of their Daughters

Upon becoming pharaoh, Akhenaten revolutionized the religion and artistic style of Egypt—at least until his death.

Temple of Amun-Re and the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak
Temple of Amun-Re and the Hypostyle Hall, Karnak

This massive temple complex was a major religious center—and its architecture mirrors ancient Egyptian creation myths.

Selected Contributors | Middle and New Kingdom