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Surveyor's Stake from a Foundation Deposit for Hatshepsut's Temple

Period:
New Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 18
Reign:
Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
Date:
ca. 1479–1458 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Hatshepsut, Foundation Deposit 2b (B), MMA excavations, 1921–22
Medium:
Wood
Dimensions:
L. 41.3 cm (16 1/4 in.); Diam. 10.5 cm (4 1/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922
Accession Number:
22.3.246
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 116
The Egyptian foundation ceremony was called "the stretching of the cord." This refers to the ritual of dedicating a temple, but it also describes the action of laying out the temple's ground plan by driving stakes into the earth and stretching a piece of cord between them. The stake (22.3.246) and a mallet (22.3.245) in this photograph are from one of the foundation deposit delineating the perimeter of Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri.
Museum excavations, 1920-1922. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1922.

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