Drum Lintel of Niuty


Drum Lintel of Niuty  [ edit ]

The drum lintel formed part of the entrance to the stone mastaba tomb of Niuty, a Fifth or Sixth Dynasty official. This tomb (G 4611) lies in the West Field of the Giza necropolis, north of the pyramid of Khafre and west of the pyramid of Khufu. The lintel is made of limestone, and measures 23.5 cm by 64.2 cm. It formed the horizontal top of the doorway, and was one of the first things a visitor to the tomb would see. The semi-cylindrical shape of the object is a stone representation of the roll of cloth typically used to close a doorway. It has been badly eroded, and broken into at least two pieces (modern repair). A few traces of red paint remain. A hieroglyphic inscription in raised relief reads “sole companion, director of the palace, Niuty.” This inscription draws attention to Niuty’s close relationship to the king. The title “sole companion” is a shortened version of “sole companion of the king,” describing Niuty as an official with personal access to the ruler, while his title “administrator of the palace” places him in Memphis, where the royal residence was located during the Old Kingdom.

The finely carved hieroglyphs on this object are an excellent example of the aesthetic qualities of ancient Egypt’s famous script. This enigmatic and beautiful writing system fascinated many later viewers.


Dynasties 5-6


H. 23.5cm; W. 64.2 cm




Yale Art Gallery

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