The Griffith Institute
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Bersha Watercolours

Griffith Institute w&d 165 | Kheker-frieze wall decoration

Griffith Institute Watercolour 165
Griffith Institute w&d 165
© Griffith Institute Watercolours & Drawings Project

Artist Marcus W. Blackden.

Date Not dated, probably 1891.

Deir el-Bersha.
Tomb of Djehutinakht. Dynasty XII.

Detail of khekher-frieze wall decoration.
From scene: Khekher decoration from upper part of walls in Hall and Shrine.

Technical data
170 mm x 240 mm.
Watercolour, recto [no mount],
'M. W. B.' [initialed signature]; 'Tomb I El Bersheh II. Pl. V.'; 'El Bersheh II. Pl. V.'.
Watercolour, verso [no mount],
'Kheker ornament Tehutinekht (El Bersheh II )'.

Griffith Institute w&d

See PM iv.177, 179 | TopBib 409-060-010-010; GI w&d Deir el-Bersha Project; Griffith, F. L. & Newberry, P. E. El Bersheh ii [1895], 17, 18 pl. v [upper left].

The kheker-frieze is a common motif frequently used in temples and tombs, and most often observed decorating the upper borders of scenes at the top or dado height of walls. The kheker probably represents stylised plant material which has been tied into a bundle or a decorative knot. This motif, replicated both in stone and paint, is thought to represent or originate from the knotted fringes of a mat or rolled-up sun-shade hung in the entrances and windows of buildings.

This example from the tomb of Djehutinakht at Deir el-Bersha is a very short section of the kheker-frieze which decoratated the uppermost part of the walls throughout this noble's tomb.

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.