I like looking at the figured ostraca in museums, because you see such a wide variety of art. Some are clearly practice pieces for larger work, some are doodles and quick sketches, some are humorous in various styles. I think this piece falls into that last category.

The chap who’s being bitten by the lion is clearly not Egyptian ­ you can tell that by his hat and his hair. So the humour is mostly “tee-hee look at the foreigner being eaten by a lion!”.

But it also reminds me of how Mesopotamian kings are often shown killing lions – is this also a political cartoon, mocking the king of another country? “Hah! Calls himself lion killer, lion food more like!”.

The man is clearly a foreigner, possibly Mesopotamian and thus this is mocking their king killing lions iconography?

I’m not sure where or when this piece is from, but it’s now in the Cairo Museum. I haven’t been able to find an accession number for it though.

See it on my photo site: https://photos.talesfromthetwolands.org/picture.php?/634/

Jigsaw puzzles:
easier: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=1ea15aa6c0fb
harder: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=0ef791c00a76

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