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Ancient Egyptian: The ‘Reserve Heads’:some remarks on their function and meaning

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posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 01:47 PM
What are 'reserved heads'?

Excavations in the west field the area of mastaba tombs next to Khufu horizon found a number of representations of heads. Images of some of these are shown below. At this time not consensus has been arrived at to what they meant or why the AE put them into these tombs.

These heads were found in the well known Giza necropolis

A detail image of the specific locations the heads were found - clearer images are in the PDF link below

The heads, a total of 31 were found in this cemetery and few in other locations. The last was found

The last head found at Giza comes from the Central Field, more specifically from the so-called ‘Tomb of Khafre’s Daughter’ dated in a period spanning the reigns of Khufu and Khafre.

What were these heads for? That is unknown the AE don't mention them in the limited texts that have come down to there are lots of theories, one is noted below

..for the rest of the information you'll have to read the PDF

Link to Massimiliano Nuzzolo PDF on this subject

posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 02:23 PM
Cool find, never knew about this.

Here is some more info:

Reserve heads (also known as "Magical heads" or "Replacement heads", the latter term derived from the original German term "Ersatzköpfe") are distinctive sculptures made primarily of fine limestone that have been found in a number of non-royal tombs of the Fourth dynasty of Egypt; primarily from the reigns of pyramid-building pharaohs Khufu to Khafre, circa 2551-2496 B.C.[1] While each of the heads share characteristics in common with each other (and some examples may be more caricature than reflecting a true-life appearance), the striking individuality of the pieces makes them some of the earliest examples of portrait sculpture in existence.

Their purpose is not entirely clear; the name comes from the prevalent theory first put forward, in 1903, by the German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt that the head was to serve as an alternate home for the spirit of the dead owner should anything happen to its body.[1]

The Wiki page is a pretty good read for more info.


posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 02:29 PM
reply to post by Julie Washington

Thanks Julie I was just going to put more material into my original post and you beat me to it, thanks

Its an interesting puzzle

posted on Dec, 3 2012 @ 02:38 PM
The name - Reserved Heads - made me think that they were ready made sculpted heads that the Egyptians that did the sculpting had ready made models to sculpt quickly when a person who was worthy of a sculpted head, could be quickly completed as they were mummified.

The heads pictured look unfinished to me and that is what I based my quick hypothesis from.

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