The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston shares its collection with St. Louis again. Nubia: African treasure, On display The art on display is primarily the result of archaeological expeditions funded by Boston institutions and Harvard University between 1910 and 1932. Recent scholarships over the last few decades have enabled us to understand and appreciate the art of the three ancient civilizations that existed in today’s Nubia. At the same time, the scholarship works to strip and destroy the prejudices and prejudices of the original archaeologist who discovered the amazing art. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Dennis Doxy, curator of ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Nubia is not the name of a particular civilization or culture, but the name of an ancient region that stretched from the first cataracts of the Nile, or perhaps what was called the rapids, to modern Sudan. The northern tip of Nubia never had an exact boundary, but rather blended into the Egyptian world. Complicating the understanding of these cultures today is that the colonial era imposed by Europe ignored ancient boundaries and divided historic regions into different countries. Also, some objects were cataloged as “Ethiopia” (further south along the Blue Nile) when they were registered in the MFA collection. In fact, as Doxy points out, Nubia was actually called a kush in the ancient world.
One aspect of these ancient civilizations that is becoming increasingly clear is not just the copyists of the famous Egyptian kingdom of the north, but the level of sophistication they have achieved. Part of our lack of understanding came for simple reasons. Early archaeologists excavated at colonial Sudanese ruins approached their subject in terms of dealing with inferior cultures already. The prejudice came in part from the Egyptians themselves. And their own writings plundered their southern neighbors.
The first civilization on display was during the Kerma period from 2400 BC to 1550 BC. The distant era of Nubia’s past, Kerma was most surrounded by misunderstandings and misconceptions created by MFA curator and archaeologist George Andrew Reisner. He correctly identified the new culture, but thought they were merely a “copy” of the more advanced “white” Egyptian civilization in the north. Similarly, when Reisner found Egyptian art in the Kerma archaeological excavation, he thought it was a sign of foreign rule in Nubia, not a sign of international culture interacting with his neighbors.
Many excellent works of art are on display to showcase the strength of Kerma. Of particular interest are pottery that has been carefully baked in a kiln partially buried in ashes to create a unique pattern. The work of art looks amazingly modern. Similarly, the bright blue faience lion recovered from the wall demonstrates the abilities of the Kerma craftsman. For the sake of context, stone works from Egyptian sources appear next to their Nubian counterparts.
After the Kerma era, between 750 BC and 332 BC, there was an era of Egyptian occupation and the rise of the Napata civilization. The understanding of this civilization was greatly enhanced by the adoption of Egyptian hieroglyphs and the Pantheon of their gods. .. You’ll also see King Taharqa, perhaps one of the most important leaders in world history you’ve never heard of. Shawabuti Dominates one of the exhibition galleries.
In the past, many classes of ancient Egypt shined in the 25 dynasties and chose to treat the period of Nubian rule as a footnote rather than a major historical period. Egypt was conquered by its southern neighbors. Taharqa also established a new necropolis in Nuri, where King Napata’s now-famous pyramid tomb is located. The monuments are not as big as most Egyptian tombs, but they carry panacea and are not just imitations. Sadly, like their northern opponents, they were robbed in ancient times.
However, the Hathor head crystal pendant, one of the objects of King Piye’s reign, shows a high level of artistic expression. As Doxy explains, the gold lead placed on the head of the Egyptian god Hathor was so delicate and its craftsmanship was so perfect that it was originally thought to have been cast. But not so, and even more surprising, was the need to apply a thin gold leaf of tissue without optical assistance.
The final period of the exhibition is the Meroë period, named after the Nubian capital of the Nile, south of Napata. This period, dating from 332 BC to 350 BC, corresponds to some of the most important periods of Greek and Roman civilization. However, during the Meroitic era, Nubia prospered and developed new Meroitic scripts. It also interacted with its northern neighbors, as evidenced by the ceramic pieces that demonstrated the fusion of classical Greek and Roman motifs with Nubian pottery.
The most rewarding part of this exhibition is how to introduce the American audience to a whole new world of African art.As recently, the sculpture hall may not have a 20-foot-high granite statue. Sunken city Although it is a special exhibition, the beauty is in the details of the objects. If you haven’t heard of the civilization surrounding Nubia and its vast Nile valley, you should go see this exhibit. If you learned about Nubia at school 30 years ago, you may need to see this exhibit even more. There is much more to learn now.