The scene to which this block once belonged probably showed a desert hunting party. The hunters, Akhenaten and his entourage, would have appeared in chariots bearing down on their helpless prey. Their approach has not gone unnoticed: the ears of the two bubalis antelopes perk up at the sound of danger. The back of a third antelope may be seen in the lower right corner. Such isolated blocks provide a hint of the complex decorative schemes that once existed in the palace at el Amarna.
The Egyptians associated the female cat’s fertility and motherly care with several divinities. The base of the statuette of Cat with Kittens is inscribed with a request that Bastet grant life, directly linking the cat pictured here with the goddess Bastet. The kittens here point to the benevolent aspect of this feline divinity, while her pointed ears emphasize the feline’s attentive vigilance and ability to protect its young.
The upraised face in this statue depicts Padimahes observing a temple procession and reveals that the statue was meant to represent him in a temple after his death. His ba-soul could travel from the tomb and inhabit the statue, allowing him to share in the offerings made to the god in the temple. His ba would then return to the tomb.
Brian Zimerle of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago demonstrates and explains the techniques that would have been used by potters in the Egyptian predynastic period (c. 6000-3000 BC). 2/3.