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Statuette
Date Made/Found: 664-30 BC
Material and Medium: Bronze
Dimensions: Height 130mm; width 28mm; depth 55mm
Place Object Found: Egypt
Department: Archaeology
Accession Number: J11.5.81.18
The ancient Egptian statuette depicts Imhotep. He was a scribe and the architect of Egypt’s first pyramid. He is shown here holding an open papyrus scroll on his lap.

Most ancient Egyptian people could not read or write. Scribes were people who trained to be able to understand and write hieroglyphs. They had a high position in society. Hieroglyphs were considered sacred and were often used for religious texts. Each hieroglyph represented a sound in the ancient Egyptian language. The owl hieroglyph was the sound ‘m’, not the word for owl. But some hieroglyphs did represent a word as well as a sound e.g. the mouth sign meant the sound ‘r’ and also the word mouth. Hieratic script was a simpler and quicker way to write the ancient Egyptian language. It was still based on pictures but the symbols were less detailed. It was usually used for administrative tasks.
Display Location: Weston Park Museum

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