Ancient Egyptian Statue

The serenity of this Egyptian official, shown cross-legged with a roll of papyrus across his lap, contrasts strongly with the energy of Ancient Greek statues. Placed within a tomb it was intended as substitute body for the soul of the dead, enabling the soul of the deceased to share in offerings of food and wine brought to the tomb by the living.

The earliest Egyptians had been buried out in the desert under simple mounds with the offerings laid at one end. The pyramids, huge as they are, represent no more than an elaboration of this simple concept.