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Relief Fragments from the Palace of King Apries

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek


This particular fragment from a limestone relief was discovered by W.M.F. Petrie during his period of excavation on the Palace of King Apries in Memphis, 1909. It is a piece of monumental wall decoration, classified alongside three other elements of wall decoration, in which style, subject, and execution, corresponding closely to similar works.

Description of object

Part of a fragmentary set, this fragment bears the remains of a large bird’s wing cut in slightly raised relief and meticulously painted in shades of green. The wing belonged to a bird of the same size and execution as seen in other (unpublished) fragments from the collection. It has been assumed that the fragments from this decoration came from the great decorated gate of the palace, but it is not possible to reconstruct and confirm this due to missing parts.

Petrie gives no information as to where these fragments were found during his excavations, but the location was apparently dry since it has retained their original paintwork. This fragment, alongside others found nearby, give the impression that the relief decoration of the bright gateway was painted in bright colours.

Choice of methods

Visual examination

  • Macroscopic


C. Brøns, K. Lund Rasmussen, M. Melchiorre di Crescenzo, R. Stacey, A. Lluveras-Tenorio (2018) Painting the Palace of Apries I: Ancient binding media and coatings of the reliefs from the Palace of Apries, Lower Egypt, Heritage Science 6:6 “”:

S. Hedegaard, T. Delbey, C. Brøns, K. Rasmussen, Painting the Palace of Apries II: ancient pigments of the reliefs from the Palace of Apries, Lower Egypt. Heritage Science. 7 (2019), doi:10.1186/s40494-019-0296-4.

  • ÆIN 1057
  • Statue
  • c. 589 - 568 B.C.
  • Egypt: Early Dynastic Period
  • Limestone
  • Acquired in 1909 from W.M.F Petrie's excavations at Memphis
  • H: 15 cm; W: 18 cm; D: 3.8 cm

Selected photos

  • Image_6487327