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Fossil of a sea urchin with a hieroglyphic inscription by the priest Tjanefer

This fossil of a cidaroid echinoid (a sea urchin) dates from the Eocene (56-34 millions of years ago). The hieroglyphic inscription on the base reads: “Found to the south of the quarry by the god’s father Tjanefer.” The place of discovery and the fact that it is inscribed suggest that the object was displayed in the temple as a manifestation of the sacred. Since the name of the quarry is not indicated, it was probably a well-known one near Heliopolis.

S. 2761
Fossilized organic material
7.5 x 8.5 x 4.5 cm
1292–332 BCE
Ramesside period or Late Period
Heliopolis, temple area
Schiaparelli excavations (1903-1906)
Not on display
  • Karlshausen, Christina, Thierry De Putter, “Un oursin pour le dieu. L’oursin de Tjanefer (Turin Suppl. 2761)”, Rivista del Museo Egizio 1 (2017), https://doi.org/10.29353/rime.2017.1068
    Tipo=Articolo di periodico SottoTipo= Autore=Karlshausen, Christina, Thierry De Putter Titolo=Un oursin pour le dieu. L’oursin de Tjanefer (Turin Suppl. 2761) Sottotiolo= In=Rivista del Museo Egizio Collana= Opera=1 Luogo= Anno=2017 Menzionato=https://doi.org/10.29353/rime.2017.1068 Illustrazione=
Museo Egizio