Egyptian Birthing Brick

Birthing Brick, Thirteenth Dynasty (1759-1630 BCE), Ceramic, Glencairn Museum, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania.

Scholars have seen references to birthing bricks in papyrus texts but it wasn’t until 2002 that a joint expedition found an example in Abydos. Ancient Egyptian woman gave birth in a squatting position. Bricks or stones were often used to support and raise the mother while she crouched during childbirth. This gave the midwife better access to the child. They were often painted with gods, goddesses, and symbols to protect the child during their arrival.

On this brick from Abydos, the sun god appears in symbolic form in the guise of a cat. Images of the guardians of the sun god decorate the sides of the brick to provide magical protection for mother and child.



A sequence of rulers from the same family.

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