220px-Seated Scribe Full

The sculpture to the right is from the 4th Dynasty of Old Kingntly being held on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.[1]

Technical EvaluationEdit

Generally speaking, when it comes to Old Kingdom art there are basic patterns typically followed. Writing scribes were sculpted mainly during the 4th and 5th dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Pink or yellow stone, such as the color used for the Scribe, denote royalty and is made of a hard-crystallized limestone. Limestone was a very abundant mineral in Ancient Egypt. In ancient Egyptian art, the tint of the skin tone represts gender. In this case, the seated scribe has a red tint, meaning that the Scribe was a male. The details painted on the figure include: black paint for hair,eyebrows, eyelids, cosmetic lines and nostrils; pink r nails and corners of eyes; white or yellow for garments. The material, limestone, was quite popular among Egyptian art. It was easy to retrieve, soft and porous, making it easier to move around. Limestone was used mainly for tomb statuary. Another benefit to limestone is that it is neutral in color. This allowed for it to be completely painted as it was in this sculpture.


This sculpture was discovered in Saqqara, Egypt on the 19th of  November, 1850 [3] . According to the Louvre Museum, "The semicircular base on which the figure sits must have originally fit into a larger base that carried his name and titles. This base is missing, and the context of the discovery does not provide any additional information. According to the archeologist Auguste Mariette , who found the work, the excavation journals had been lost, and the archives were scattered between France and Egypt. Furthermore, the site had been pillaged and ransacked, and no information concerning the figure's identity could be provided. Some historians have tried to link it to one of the owners of the statues discovered at the same time. The most convincing of these associates the scribe to Pehernefer." [4]

Limestone in Ancient Egypt was extremely abondunt as it still is today. This is due to the fact the Egyptians used to be under low-lying water, which allowed for limestone and chalk to form. Many sculptures and other pieces of art from Ancient Egypt depended on these two minerals. Even the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built using limestone. For example, the whole "Seated Scribe" was created from limestone, carved and had paint added for asthetic appeal. [5]

Local Historical SignificanceEdit

The artist is a mystery and so is the man who is being potrayed; though there is strong evidence that suggests Pehernefe is the man represented in the statue. According to the Louvre Museum, "Although no king was ever portrayed in this pose, it seems that it was originally used for members of the royal family, such as the king's sons or grandsons, as was the case for the sons of Didufri (4th Dynasty), who were represented in this position."   [6]

The word statue in ancient Egyptian meant, "Living Image". A statue was considered to be alive and was the house for an individual's essence (ka). This statue would have had high religious value due to its status of a ka, because of this significance, scientists are certain that this statue was of someone in royalty, becuase royalty would have been most concerned with the thought of afterlife. [7]

The artist who composed this sculpture did not receive any honor. In the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom, an artist was seen as a hired worker and thus, received no extra applause than would any other worker. The artist of this sculpture would have received his/her payment in goods, as would all hired hands. [8]

During this time period of 2620-2500 BCE Egypt, pyramids were being built. Every monarch wanted to build a pyramid, so that after his death, he could be placed. Very quickly did the construction of pyramids become somewhat competitive with each monarch trying to flaunt his wealth over the last monarch. The Great Pyramid of Khufu was built in 2680 BCE and to this day is the largest pyramid ever built. With this growing field in architechture, it is no wonder that the Seated Scribe was crafted with such detail. Some scholars believe this statue to have possibly been in one of the pyramids, but due to the faulty records, no one will ever really know where The Seated Scribe was originally buried. [9]

World Historical SignificanceEdit

Each and every Egyptian statue had a religious aspect to it. Also, not a single statue was meant to literally potray or represent a man, but rather to serve as a Ka statue, a place for the soul to dwell.This is extremely unique to Egyptian culture. These facts about Egyptian art are what seperate Ancient Egyptian culture from the rest of the world and also, allow for other culture's influence on Egyptian art to be evident


Suggested BibliographyEdit

Morgan, Lyvia. "ENLIVENING THE BODY: COLOR AND STONE STATUES IN OLD KINGDOM EGYPT." JSTOR.*&searchText (accessed April 18, 2013). 

"Pyramid, structure." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition (February 2013): 1. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed April 22, 2013).

Savage, Stephen . "Some Recent Trends in the Archaeology of Predynastic Egypt." JSTOR. (accessed April 21, 2013).

Scharff, Alexander. "On The Statuary of the Old Kingdom." JSTOR. (accessed April 23, 2013).   

"The Geology and Micropaleontology of the Farafra Oasis, Egypt." JSTOR. (accessed April 21, 2013).   

"The Seated Scribe | Louvre Museum | Paris." Site officiel du musée du Louvre. (accessed April 22, 2013).

Cmb211 (talk) 21:02, April 22, 2013 (UTC)Carly Macall Baker