Spot the Difference

Fragment of Relief with Captives, 1525-1504 BCE
Egyptian, Dynasty 18, Reign of Amenhotep I – From the Karnak Temple Complex

This fragment was once part of a temple relief depicting King Amenhotep I grasping bound captives by the hair. The seemingly identical appearance of the bearded captives functioned as visual shorthand for foreign enemies of the Egyptian state. Closer inspection, however, reveals some individualized features, including different beard styles.

RISD Museum, Providence, RI

November 23rd, 2018

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