Slave Bondage In Ancient Egypt

Funny thing about classical art. Usually there’s no visible bondage, because even the slaves were kept more by fear than by actual rope and chain. This image from ancient Egypt is a rare exception:

egyptian slave women tied on their knees

This image comes from David Redford’s 1984 book “Akhenaten the Heretic King” and is said to depict a decoration on the base of Queen Tiy’s throne, circa 1440 BC.

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3 comments on “Slave Bondage In Ancient Egypt”:

jd commented on May 25th, 2005 at 3:47 pm:

Interesting how the ties are closer to the elbows than the wrists. Close parallels to a lot of modern imagery.

Adam Zadeh commented on February 5th, 2010 at 11:41 pm:

It’s my understanding that having the tie closer to the elbow prevents possible slippage and escape. Although I’m far from a rope expert.

bob commented on December 23rd, 2010 at 5:21 pm:

There are two flowers in front of the prisoners. In Egyptian higherglifics those flowers are lotus blossoms and signify opiants, suggest the slaves are in some stage of drug inducement.

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