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The Mysterious Egyptian Tri-Lobed Disc


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#91    cladking

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:41 AM

legionromanes on Mar 12 2009, 11:25 PM, said:

do you have any idea how wrong that is in light of what was found in every other tomb in Egypt ?
youre saying, this is too expensive to go in a tomb


thumbsup.gif


I mean "expensive" in the same terms that I used it before;
that it required tremendous expense to build in terms of ef-
fort and labor.  Obviously things made of gold normally rep-
resent great wealth as well.  

It's not that it's too valuable per se, it's that as a ceremonial
bowl it's too valuable and as a grave good it may have no
function at all.  Someone who works for NASA might desire
to be buried with an extremely expensive shuttle part but
why would a priest or politician?  Some people might like the
idea of being buried with anything valuable but so it certainly
can't be dismissed out of hand, but I'd still maintain that most
people would prefer gold or something widely treasured or of
personal importance to them rather than a bowl that cost
thousands of dollars.  Why not a gold bowl?  It could do any-
thing this one can do and you could always scrap it out.  It
would even be cheaper and much more widely treasured.  

Most people just wouldn't have much use for a bowl shaped
like this one and they probably wouldn't have much more
use for it in the afterlife.




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#92    kmt_sesh

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:42 AM

Quote

And they wouldn't have buried an ancient with something this
expensive unless it was a factory second or the like.


This is the sort of conclusion I would guard against, as well as our impulse to judge something ancient as less than "perfect."

You can look at almost every single artifact or monument from ancient Egypt and find imperfections. It is incorrect to judge their artwork by our own standards. This ceremonial bowl is the work of a master, and the fact that it is not perfectly symmetrical is quite irrelevant. It was crafted 5,000 years ago--I'd like to see the average stone sculptor of today try to duplicate it.

Cladking, you seem to be having a lot of trouble seeing this as a bowl at all. Perhaps "bowl" is misleading and brings up images of something from which we eat our Cheerios. How much time have you invested in the research of temple cultic practices and equipment? This object is fancier than most but, as I wrote in an earlier post, would've been ideal in a temple setting as an offering tray.

I can still imagine it as some sort of incense burner, but it makes more sense as perhaps a combination. It could've bore both food and incense--both of which were considered appropriate offerings to the cultic statue. I can also see it standing on a pole in the manner Harte described--the central tube would've been well suited for that--but I have to admit I don't see bundles of wicks sticking through the outer holes. To me those thin tubes at the edges are most logically handles.

But most importantly, judge the artifact by its time and place, and the culture that occupied that time and place.

Finally, it's true that tombs sometimes contained "factory seconds," more accurately items the family of the deceased wanted him or her to have in the afterlife or items they no longer needed themselves. Such things are the exception. The fact is, some of the very best ancient Egyptian works of art have come from tombs. Of course they buried something like this with an ancient; it was found in a Dynasty 1 tomb in Saqqara, and there is no question that in its time this artifact would've been considered extremely valuable. All the more honor and prestige to the deceased.

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#93    kmt_sesh

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:57 AM

Quote

Some people might like the
idea of being buried with anything valuable but so it certainly
can't be dismissed out of hand, but I'd still maintain that most
people would prefer gold or something widely treasured or of
personal importance to them rather than a bowl that cost
thousands of dollars. Why not a gold bowl?


Think about it more carefully, cladking. This mastaba, Tomb 3111, is well known. When Emery excavated it around 1936, he didn't find much intact. What remained was in shambles--it was clear the tomb had been raided and ransacked ages ago. An article from Tour Egypt adds: "There wee [sic] also stone and pottery vessels, two boxes of flint knives, arrows, a few copper tools, two ox skeletons and the fragments of a schist bowl." (Here is the article in full; Tomb 3111 has a small section near the end of the page.)

The only remarkable thing here is that the copper tools weren't stolen. Copper was a valuable resource. Evidently the raiders didn't find them. The point is, it's almost a given that Tomb 3111 had plenty of gold artifacts in it; they were pilfered in antiquity. The ceremonial bowl, incorrectly called schist in the article, was itself smashed. The photos we've been seeing of it in this discussion show its reconstruction. It would've been worthless to the tomb robbers.

Whatever this bowl may have cost in ancient Egyptian terms is not relevant. It was a prestige item, the sort of thing with which countless nobles were buried. It's that simple. Try to see it from the perspective of the ancients. Analogies with chunks of the space shuttle really don't work.

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#94    kmt_sesh

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:08 AM

legionromanes on Mar 12 2009, 11:25 PM, said:

do you have any idea how wrong that is in light of what was found in every other tomb in Egypt ?
youre saying, this is too expensive to go in a tomb
linked-image
but this isn't
linked-image
Epic Fail

thumbsup.gif


I hate to keep popping up like this in a single thread but I almost missed your post, legionromanes. It brings up a good point. I'll offer some more examples, though to save space I'll use links.

To the ceremonial bowl and the funerary mask I'd add stuff...

Like this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

and this...

and of course this.

You get the idea. It goes to what I was saying in my previous post. It was a given that a king or noble or other high-ranking official would be interred with valuable prestige goods, exactly the sort of things that would've been regarded as extremely "expensive" to the Egyptians. The material price of the object was not of importance. Its status as a prestige item was much more significance.

Compared to many other things found in tombs, the ceremonial bowl dug out of Tomb 3111 is, well, just another bowl.

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#95    AztecInca

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:29 AM

louie please keep your comments to the topic at hand and not your fellow UM members. Let's keep the discussion civil, on-topic and constructive. thumbsup.gif


#96    Harte

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:04 PM

cladking on Mar 12 2009, 07:10 PM, said:

There's an old Dick Van Dyke episode where the gang is at
an auction and everything they look at Sally Rogers says you
could drill a hole in it and it would make a great lamp.  

To use the object as a six flamed lamp you'll have to  put a
wide band near the end of each bundle near the flame or the
whole thing would burn.  the oil wouldn't get to the reeds without
some sort of wicking device.  

I know you're not entirely serious but I don't think it could
be made  to work.

Absurd.

What is it about "oil-soaked papyrus reeds" that you don't understand?

The thing doesn't hold any oil.  It holds the reeds.

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#97    cladking

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:58 PM






Like this...

A valuable and intricately carved chair that could be used as a chair.  

and this...

An uncomfortable looking chair.  

and this...

a gilt and very fancy chariot.

and this...

An inlaid an very expensive chair.

and this...

It's hard to tell from the picture but it is some sort of statuary
of a giraffe; quite good and possibly ancient.  

and of course this.

I believe they refer to this as the "sun boat" which is in the museum
on the south side of the Great Pyramid.  I believe these have been found
at several of the pyramids which egyptology believes were tombs.  These
are very expensive and are very very sea worthy.  

kmt_sesh on Mar 13 2009, 12:08 AM, said:

You get the idea. It goes to what I was saying in my previous post. It was a given that a king or noble or other high-ranking official would be interred with valuable prestige goods, exactly the sort of things that would've been regarded as extremely "expensive" to the Egyptians. The material price of the object was not of importance. Its status as a prestige item was much more significance.

Compared to many other things found in tombs, the ceremonial bowl dug out of Tomb 3111 is, well, just another bowl.


I beg to differ.  All these other items (except the uncomfortable chair)
are entirely useful in this life.  Only the boat was probably more valuable
than the bowl and the bowl couldn't even be used as a bowl for most
purposes.  

I'm a little surprised by the statue of the giraffe as well.  There's what
looks like an uncomfortable bed with the uncomfortable chair.  

So why make an exceedingly expensive bowl that wouldn't work very
well as a bowl.  Who'd want to be buried with a boat that has three
stearns or a chariot that is pulled in three directions?  


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#98    legionromanes

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

CK youre ability at using the socratic method in your osts is just coming over as being obtuse now, you went too far and are just making yourself look stupid
its a fricking bowl, not the holy grail dude, get with the goddamn program can you
thumbsup.gif


#99    cladking

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:29 PM

kmt_sesh on Mar 12 2009, 11:57 PM, said:

It would've been worthless to the tomb robbers.

Whatever this bowl may have cost in ancient Egyptian terms is not relevant. It was a prestige item, the sort of thing with which countless nobles were buried. It's that simple. Try to see it from the perspective of the ancients. Analogies with chunks of the space shuttle really don't work.


You're right; if it's a bowl than the analogy to the space shuttle doesn't
hold except it is still just as expensive to build as the nose cone.  I can't
think of any sort of luxury item today that is non functional.  Certainly
art doesn't necessarily "do anything" but where is the fine detailing on
this piece?  Even the grooves cut around the center cylinder appear to
be just scratched in hastily.  

I would maintain that it was not only worthless to tombrobbers in its de-
graded state but it was worthless when it was intact as a bowl.  Not worth-
less because such "junk" could be whipped out in large numbers, but
worthless because it was so very expensive and so very fragile.  If you
could point at an old drawing depicting this being used in some manner
such as offering food to the Gods then you'd certainly have an argument
but such a thing doesn't exist.  I'm doubtful that even a picture could
suffice to explain the function of this thing as a bowl.  Are the Gods ex-
pected to reach around the "lobes" to get offerrings?  Do they rest their
arm and legs on them while reaching with the other?  Perhaps the fins
are the ancient answer to the "no leaf gutter" and deflect spills to the
center of the bottom of the bowl where they can't be seen.  

More serious perhaps this was a component of a much larger piece or
even a little one.  The fins could be a place to pour liquids into a larger
bowl.  

It still comes down to the basic problem here.  This ain't no bowl! It
strians credulity to believe anyone would want to be buried with parts
of a tea set no matter how expensive.  The entire tea set maybe, but
not a few of the parts.  

The cost is highly relevant simply because it helps define what it might
be.  It certainly wasn't a well covering for a poor farmer.  Whatever it
was it must have been extremely important to warrant the cost.

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#100    cladking

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:34 PM

legionromanes on Mar 13 2009, 10:11 AM, said:

CK youre ability at using the socratic method in your osts is just coming over as being obtuse now, you went too far and are just making yourself look stupid
its a fricking bowl, not the holy grail dude, get with the goddamn program can you
thumbsup.gif



OK, now I see the light.  The pyramids are tombs despite what the
Pyramid Texts say and they were built with ramps against all com-
mon sense.  

A bowl by any other name would smell as sweet.  

If it quacks like a bowl...

Nope it still doesn't work for me.

wink2.gif


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#101    cladking

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:38 PM

Harte on Mar 13 2009, 06:04 AM, said:

Absurd.

What is it about "oil-soaked papyrus reeds" that you don't understand?

The thing doesn't hold any oil.  It holds the reeds.



I'm sorry.  I thought you were being partly fecetious.

It's difficult to picture it this way and it sounds like the
fuel could all ignite at once causing a fire.  



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#102    cladking

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:44 PM

kmt_sesh on Mar 12 2009, 11:42 PM, said:

Finally, it's true that tombs sometimes contained "factory seconds," more accurately items the family of the deceased wanted him or her to have in the afterlife or items they no longer needed themselves.




I think the question here is why would they ever want this one in the first place.  wink2.gif

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#103    louie

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:44 PM

legionromanes on Mar 13 2009, 08:11 PM, said:

CK youre ability at using the socratic method in your osts is just coming over as being obtuse now, you went too far and are just making yourself look stupid
its a fricking bowl, not the holy grail dude, get with the goddamn program can you
thumbsup.gif

bowls by defenation do not attach to poles or other objects which this object has a reciver for, therefore its not a bowl, its more probaby an incense of lightning ornamrnt,
stop being rude to posters, calling them stupid.

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#104    legionromanes

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 05:14 PM

louie on Mar 13 2009, 04:44 PM, said:

bowls by defenation do not attach to poles or other objects which this object has a reciver for, therefore its not a bowl, its more probaby an incense of lightning ornamrnt,
stop being rude to posters, calling them stupid.

got nothing better to do than to coninuously harass me have you louie
what a boring life you must have
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Edited by legionromanes, 13 March 2009 - 05:23 PM.


#105    cormac mac airt

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 06:06 PM

Quote

Some people might like the
idea of being buried with anything valuable but so it certainly
can't be dismissed out of hand, but I'd still maintain that most
people would prefer gold or something widely treasured or of
personal importance to them rather than a bowl that cost
thousands of dollars. Why not a gold bowl?


Quote

And they wouldn't have buried an ancient with something this
expensive unless it was a factory second or the like.


Quote

I think the question here is why would they ever want this one in the first place.


A better question, IMHO, is what makes you think your opinion of the relevance of worth, usefullness or mindset has any bearing on what the Ancient Egyptians considered aesthetically or religiously pleasing, useful or worthy? Once again you are trying to place your 21st century mindset/opinions onto peoples of a bygone age. Unless or until you are willing to learn enough about the real history/society of Ancient Egypt, your meanderings hold no weight.

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