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Bersha Watercolours

Griffith Institute w&d 159 | Force-feeding Cranes

Griffith Institute Watercolour 159
Griffith Institute w&d 159
© Griffith Institute Watercolours & Drawings Project

Artist Howard Carter.

Date 1893.

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

A group of domesticated Cranes with man force-feeding one Crane on the left.
From scene: Second register, netting fish, third register, three rows feeding, cooking and bringing Cranes, Geese and other birds and fish.

Technical data
594 mm x 375 mm.
Mount, recto,
'Howard Carter 1893.' [signature and date];
'cf. El Bersheh I. Pl: XXII.'; 'p. 14.'; 'I think these are cranes not avocets'; 'See the squares to keep the drawing right -'; 'A pole holds up the bamboo which forms rod for tent.'.
Mount, verso,
'No 57 El Bersheh'; 'Plate XXII.'; '32 x 22'.

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], 31 pls. xx, xxii; De Meyer, M. & Cortebeeck, K. Djehoetihotep. 100 jaar opgravingen in Egypte | Djehoutihotep. 100 ans de fouilles en Égypte (2015), 117 fig. 64 (Griffith Institute w&d 159).

In the tomb of Djehutihotep on the north wall of the Hall (Inner Room), below the scenes of hunting birds and fishing is a register containing three rows of feeding, cooking and bringing birds. This tableau is framed by a the forked uprights and cross-member of a roofed enclosure which houses five large birds with their handler. All the birds have grey-green plumage, black wing-tips, red head-caps and light brown legs, and are probably Common Crane (Grus grus). The handler is grasping the upper neck of one bird with one hand whilst forcing a large pellet of food down into its gullet with the other. Above the group of four cranes on the right is a large red vessel which contains a copious amount of food for the task. This process quickly fattened the bird making it suitably plump for Djehutihotep's table.

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