Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Secrets of Tomb 10A at Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Go here, and see an exciting show that proves the immense value of ancient artifacts is not intrinsic, as in treasure, but as in the record of lives lived 4,000 years ago, that still preserves a sense of their bustling vitality.  It's time travel.  This show was mounted from artifacts already in the collection, languishing in storage, but now brought to light.  Beautifully carved scenes of daily life and ordinary people, in which the ancient craftsman showed great care and delight, seem to repopulate a long lost past.  You can easily imagine the Nile, quite as busy with commerce and travel as any modern waterway.  All the more touching to understand that the inhabitants of this rifled tomb were a regional governor and his wife, persons of some wealth, but not of exalted divine royal lineages.  Of the body so carefully prepared for eternity, all that is left is a head.  It is humbling to look into the face of a person 4,000 years old.  Curators say it is not possible to know whether the head is that of the governor or the lady, but what would you guess from the features still faintly youthful and gracile?  You can compare this face to the carved features of votive statues from the tomb and make a guess.  And, to read between the lines, wouldn't it be mere justice to send these lovely people and things home, where their ka(s) can find them?  In a real sense, provenance of these antiquities always goes back to an original robbery, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. Nice way to decorate your walls. I have never done that. My effort to beautify the walls in my house was to order big-sized canvas prints from, from images of western art. I use the same angel motifs in all of the rooms painted by different painters, such as this one by very interesting English artist Stanley Spencer,