Did you know that there are vast differences between Egyptian artifacts? Not all ancient Egypt artifacts resemble those you see displayed so proudly in museums. In fact, many museums have hundreds of Egyptian pieces that will never see the showroom floor because those pieces aren’t flashy or impressive. Just like we can tell a person’s wealth by the house they live in or the car they drive, ancient Egyptians used art as a means to separate the wealthy from the poor. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t lower class Egyptian pieces crafted with the same care and artistic creativity as elaborate pieces.
Many Pieces Never Meant to Be Seen
Much of the ancient Egypt artifacts we see today were never meant to be seen. These pieces were designed for the deceased elite as a means to provide the deceased with honor and respect, and give them mementos to enjoy in the afterlife. However, with the excavation of Egyptian tombs, we now get a small glimpse at Egyptian life and death. Collectors can find beads, vases, and plates with intricate patterns and shiny adornments that were meant for the elite society. There are also plain vases, crudely constructed statues, and small amulets that lower class society would use to serve the same purpose for their deceased.
Lower Quality but Equal Creativity
One reason you may not see many artistic pieces from lower status Egyptians is that these artists used crude methods to construct their pieces. Rather than smooth lines, bright colors, and adornments, these artists used earth tone colors and handcrafted tools to create statues and pictures. These types of pieces don’t fit into what the modern world considers beautiful, so these aren’t the pieces set out for display. However, a collector interested in ancient Egypt artifacts may find that the rarity of crudely designed pieces make them great collector’s items.
If you’re trying to build an antiquities collection, consider asking dealers or museums if they have rustic pieces. Starting with these pieces is a great way to build a well-rounded collection that showcases all aspects of Egyptian life. You may find that you enjoy the contrasts between lower class and upper class artifacts, especially since each piece has its own unique story.
For more information about collecting ancient egypt artifacts, visit Medusa Ancient Art.
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