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Pillows on the Theban Stool

In a couple of the places where this blog has been shared, people in the comments have pointed out that a pillow would do a lot to improve the stool’s ergonomics. There happens to be a roughly contemporaneous relief sculpture in the Berlin Museum showing the pharaoh Akhenaten using a cushion on a very similar stool. He’s also using what looks like a cushioned footstool, which would make the dimensions of the one I copied much more comfortable for a shorter person.

If one was to interpret this image literally, it would mean the stool was intended to be sat on with the slats running side-to-side. This would be consistent with the construction of the thrones found in Tutankhamen’s tomb, where the slats run across the width of their seats. It’s hard to know for sure – it might just be an artistic liberty.

Akhenaten was something of a reformer who’s reign and family were destroyed by a pandemic.

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