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Art and life in ancient Egypt
Art and life in ancient Egypt

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5 Garden of the west

This section looks at the ‘Garden of the west’ fragment (Figure 23).

We conclude this survey of the surviving fragments of the tomb-chapel of Nebamun with what is arguably the most ‘abstract’ image of all, the one that makes least immediate sense to the modern eye.

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© Trustees of the British Museum.
Figure 23 ‘Garden of the west’ fragment (EA 37983)
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Once again there is a combination, unusual to the modern eye, of naturalism and non-naturalism.

  • Can you describe what you see?

  • The first impression is of something that almost looks like a carpet surrounded by a child’s ‘lollipop’ trees.

    Closer inspection shows that the rectangular motif in the centre is a pool with trees around it, perhaps an orchard. What is also important to notice is the way the trees, the pool, and the creatures in it are all represented in different ways.