The Griffith Institute
University of Oxford
Bersha Watercolours

Griffith Institute w&d 157 | A Crane standing at the pool's edge

Griffith Institute Watercolour 157
Griffith Institute w&d 157
© Griffith Institute Watercolours & Drawings Project

Artist Not signed, probably Howard Carter or perhaps Marcus W. Blacken.

Date Not dated, 1891 or 1893.

Deir el-Bersha.
Tomb of Djehutihotep. Temp. Sesostris II and Sesostris III.
Hall (Inner Room). North wall, upper part.

A bird wading in the vegatation at the edge of a pool, probably a Siberian White Crane.
From scene: Top register, Djehutihotep and son (above doorway) netting wild fowl, with wife standing by net.

Technical data
156 mm x 202 mm.
Mount, recto,
'omit.'; 'I. Pl. xxi. El Bersheh.'.
Mount, verso,
'No 61 El Bersheh'; 'flamingo?'.

Griffith Institute w&d

See PM iv.180(17)-(18) | TopBib 409-060-010-020; GI w&d Deir el-Bersha Project; Newberry, P. E. El Bersheh i [1894], 30-1 pls. xx, xxi.

Based solely on the original tracings made by Howard Carter in 1891-2 and his subsequent copy of the bird depicted in the bottom right hand corner of the pool of wild fowl and not on any modern photograph of the scene to determine accuracy, the depicted bird can be identified as a probable Siberian White Crane (Grus leucogeranus). Only one other potential depiction of this species is known and that is from the tomb of Antefoker, also Dynasty XII, at Thebes. Heavy flooding occurred in the Delta at the beginning of Dynasty XII, and probably extended south to at least modern Minya. This might therefore have accounted for estuarine species, even great rarities like the Siberian White Crane, occurring in Middle Egypt, being noticed and being included in tomb art.

Cataloguing John Wyatt & Lee Young | Commentary John Wyatt
Photography Jenni Navratil, assisted by Hana Navratilova
Editing and web pages Elizabeth Fleming, assisted by Francisco Bosch-Puche & Cat Warsi.