Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reserve Heads - Part 2 : the current situation

To date, near around thirty Reserve Heads were discovered.

Most of these heads correspond to the reigns of Khufu and Khafre (IV dynasty) and are located in the western cemetery of Giza.

The oldest head found this day (Dashur) would date the reign of Snefru.


Two heads would date to the V / VI dynasties (Saqqara / Abusir).

It is mainly a "memphite" phenomenon.

Reserve heads represents a high level of plastic and visual art during the Old Kingdom.

Certain Egyptologists envisaged the idea of the existence of models or prototypes because they think that the number of found heads is lower among really produced heads.

Reserve Heads can represented a man or a woman.


Reserve heads, just like statues, are a part of the funeral material - accessible material only to high - ranking people.

These heads and the other funeral components serve a single purpose : the conservation of the deceased as extensions of his corpse.

The exact location of Reserve Heads in the grave is difficult to determine - there was often, on behalf of the archeologists or the robbers, movement of these heads on a distance more at least important.

Here are some propositions advanced by certain Egyptologists :

  • between the base of the shaft of the grave and the funeral chamber
  • in the funeral chamber, near of the entrance
  • can be in a built niche (situated in the shaft or the funeral chamber)

What seems on it is that the position of Reserve Heads in the grave is not harmless - there should be a particular reason.

When we examine heads, we notice that they are "mutilated" (precise mutilations of different forms - e.g. incision line from head bottom to head top).

These mutilations seem to be voluntary.

We can ask ourselves these questions : why of such mutilations ? What is the role of these Reserve Heads ?

We shall analyze it in the next article.


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