cult  kelim plate 6
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The exaggerated, large curling horns and well defined facial features this rear-facing animal exhibits could identify it as a ram but its body more resembles a horse. Two wing-like extensions are attached around the creature’s neck and add, in a similar fashion to the large single wings on the cover illustration, a supernatural connotation.

This small fragment was probably part of an Egyptian woolen saddlecloth made circa 300 B.C. and a woven reference to the saddle and large cloth can be seen on the animal’s back.

Finely crafted and decorated in a awe-inspiring design, this particular blanket was placed under the saddle of only the most elite horsemen. The mythological significance of a flying horse and the unintelligible hieroglyphic script present in the bottom border infer this was woven by a weaver with connections to an even more ancient weaving culture.  

Unlike the other examples which were, it would seem, made as and for burial, the belief that this tapestry was expressly made as a saddlecloth can be inferred from not only its design but also the fact that it was recovered with the remains of other equestrian gear.  It is possible, though, that this saddlecloth was never used in life and only meant for burial. 

These various remains, including this fragment, are dated to the same period and exhibited together in a glass showcase in the Museum in Cairo.

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