Game of Hounds and Jackals, ca. 1814–1805 B.C. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Amenemhat IV. Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, el-Asasif, Tomb of Reniseneb.Egyptians likened the intricate voyage through the underworld to a game. This made gaming boards and gaming pieces appropriate objects to deposit in tombs.
Mechanical Dog, ca. 1390–1353 B.C. Egypt. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This leaping hunting dog can be made to open and close its mouth using the lever beneath the chest. When the mouth is opened, two teeth and a red tongue are visible.
The cat first appears in painting and relief at the end of the Old Kingdom, and this cosmetic jar is the earliest-known three-dimensional representation of the animal in Egyptian art. | Cosmetic Vessel in the Shape of a Cat. Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, early, ca. 1990–1900 B.C. Egypt. Purchase, Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1990 (1990.59.1)
The small Egyptian stone tray from ca. 2465–2150 B.C holds models of objects required for the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony. This rite reanimated the deceased or animated a statue so that it could eat, breathe, see, hear, and otherwise enjoy everything offered to it. This set includes replicas of the vessels with which the newly revived spirit was offered milk (a baby's first source of nourishment), salt water (used for cleansing), and fresh water.