Composite Papyrus Capital

Late Period

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 131

This capital was set atop one of the ten columns of a kiosk built in front of the temple of Amun at Hibis in Kharga Oasis. It is an early example of a composite capital, which included several kinds of plants combined into a design that, with time, became increasingly more elaborate and fanciful. Here, the composition is still rather simple, consisting of two cyperus species: eight plants of the common papyrus (Cyperus papyrus, above) alternating with eight foxtail flatsedge plants (Cyperus alopecuroides, below). The capital still shows remnants of its original paint.

Composite Papyrus Capital, Sandstone, paint

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