Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oriental Institute Satirical Ostracon

Fig. 1 - Oriental Institute Satirical Ostracon
     One of my favorite objects that has survived from ancient Egypt is a limestone chip (called an ostracon) with its delightful painting of a young boy being judged by a mouse dressed like an Egyptian official. The boy has obviously been found guilty and his punishment is administered by a stick wielding cat.

     There are also papyri with similar satirical scenes on them. One famous one shows a lion playing a game of senet with a gazelle and a cat herding a flock of birds with a shepherd's crook. Yet another papyrus shows a female mouse having her hair done by a cat servant.

     This like this New Kingdom painting remind us how people have not changed so much in thousands of years.

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