An ongoing series on the social history of the Operative Masons – from ancient Egypt to the Modern Day (published in The Square magazine)
Going back through photos of my many trips to Egypt, I realise that I have a bit of obsession with feet! Don’t get me wrong, this foot fetish does not translate to modern times, I really do not have an obsession with 21st century human tootsies. But there is something deeply sensuous about the delicately carved, often strangely elongated, form of the ancient Egyptian foot; they just beg to be worshipped…
Wherever you go, there are feet sculpted from granite and granodiorite, black basalt and quartz – or the sinuous, almost ethereal anorthosite gneiss, of which the statue of ‘Khafre Enthroned’ was created from.
But it seems I am not the only one enamoured with the feet of Pharaohs; there is a superb paper by Art of Counting entitled ‘Analysis of Royal Sandals in Ancient Egypt’, which gives an in-depth analysis of the depiction of sandals worn by Ramses III at his mortuary temple of Medinet Habu.
Whatever your passion, there is no denying the tangible life-force that still emanates from the magnificent sculptures that the Egyptians are famous for. I defy anyone not to feel the urge to kneel before the feet of Pharaoh in timeless wonder and appreciation.