These Plaques with Cartouche of Amenhotep III found in the vicinity of Mycenae show the interconnectedness of the ancient civilizations. The design features a depiction of hieroglyphic script within an oval enclosure termed a cartouche, a prevalent feature in ancient Egyptian art often interpreted by researchers as a symbolic portrayal of infinity.
The central element of the plaque displays the name of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III (c. 1386–1349 B.C.), a notable figure of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom period of Egypt. Noteworthy for its prosperity, significant architectural projects, and expanded global influence, this era provided a thriving environment for the creation of artworks such as these. The incorporation of Amenhotep III's name implies that this artifact may have served a royal function, possibly as a seal or courtly decoration.
In terms of visual appeal, the ivory plaque is characterized by intricate details and aesthetic precision. The cutting technique executes deep incisions and maintains proportional accuracy, aligning with an ancient Egyptian tenet named ‘Maat,’ or cosmic harmony. Additionally, the longevity of the ivory medium highlights its symbolic and economic importance in early civilizations, especially within Egypt and Mediterranean societies.
The standout feature of this artifact is its symbolic importance in demonstrating the expansive inter-cultural connections of the ancient world. The unveiling of an Egyptian Pharaoh-inscribed artifact in Mycenae strengthens the evidence of complex trade and diplomatic networks between the distinct societies of Egypt, the Levant, and Greece during the Bronze Age. Crucially, the artifact was found amidst an array of luxury goods, further proving the broad diplomatic, cultural, and economic interactions that occurred amongst these regions.