Relief from the Tomb of Horemheb; New Kingdom (Dyn. XVIII / Tutankhamun - Ay); Saqqara; Limestone; Inv. No. 2566; Franco-Tuscan Expedition 1828-1829

This remarkable relief was brought back to Florence from Egypt as part of the Franco-Tuscan expedition of Champollion and Rosellini (1828-1829).

Florence acquired approximately 2,000 objects during this trip through a combination of items purchased on the antiquities market and also archaeological excavations (division of finds).

So the question remains how do relief's from one tomb get dispersed in museums across the world?

Well it's a combination of factors, with some interplay of randomn events over the last couple of centuries. For example...

  1. Antiquities dealers selling artefacts in Egypt during the 19th and 20th centuries

  2. Foreign ambassador's to Egypt that acquired collections for their own countries (and themselves)

  3. Division of finds from joint excavation's (e.g. France and Italy above)

  4. Collections (private and public) that are eventually resold (e.g. von Bissing)

  5. Countries splitting artefacts across several museums (e.g. Turin, Florence and Bologna)

And in just so happens that in many cases we have lost track of how these puzzles actually fit together.

Relief's from the tomb of Tep-em-ankh II were scattered across various museums in Cairo, London, Belgium and Moscow. During the course of my own Egyptological studies I was fortunate to piece together another piece of this puzzle from a collection in Japan.

The findings were presented at the Abusir and Saqqara Conference 2010 in Prague. You can read the article from that presentation below. Enjoy!