Surveyor's Stake from a Foundation Deposit for Hatshepsut's Temple
Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
ca. 1479–1458 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Hatshepsut, Foundation Deposit 2b (B), MMA excavations, 1921–22
L. 41.3 cm (16 1/4 in.); Diam. 10.5 cm (4 1/8 in.)
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922
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.