Figured Ostracon

Sketch of a common crane, a vulture, and a hound possibly basenji. This probably a series of trial sketches, not an integrated composition, and the subjects were sketched independently. Ostraca (limestone blocks) were often used by Egyptian artists for preliminary drawings, and no doubt by students of painting and sculpture.

Figured Ostracon
Figured Ostracon

Ostracon, the Greek term for potsherd, is used by Egyptologists to refer to sherds of pottery or limestone flakes, which were used as a cheap and readily available material on which write or draw. The text and drawings often consist of letters, bills, personal notes, inventories, sketches and scribal exercises, but also of literary texts, like love poems and wisdom texts.

New Kingdom, 20th Dynasty, Ramesside Period, around 1200 BC. From vicinity of tomb (KV18), Valley of the Kings, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 46732