Detail of a Model of a Cattle Census

Detail of a Model of a Cattle Census

This large model shows a courtyard where the inspection of cattle took place. Meketre, his son, and four scribes sit under a columned canopy with scribes and guards standing nearby.

Cattle are driven before them by several farmers and herdsmen in order to be counted for inspection purposes. All men are wearing short kilts and the farmers who drive the cattle are wearing long wigs and holding sticks.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, ca. 1981-1975 BC. From the Tomb of Meketre (TT280), Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, West Thebes. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 46724

Diadem of Princess Sithathoriunet

Diadem of Princess Sithathoriunet

The diadem was made to be worn above the princess wig. It is made from gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian and glass paste. Princess Sithathoriunet was daughter of Senusret II. This diadem was discovered in the Tomb of Sithathoriunet, Funerary Complex of Senusret II at El-Lahun.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Senusret II, ca. 1897-1878 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 44919

Sphinx of Amenemhat III

Sphinx of Amenemhat III

Seven sphinxes of Amenemhat III were found in Tanis in the eastern Delta. They were thus called the Tanite sphinxes. They evoke the superhuman power of the king and emphasize his fearful appearance.

The vigorous face of the king is characterized by his prominent cheekbones, protuberant mouth and deeply furrowed cheeks, which create an effect of strength. Instead of the traditional Nemes headdress, his face is framed by a massive lion’s mane that increases the sense of his majesty.

The statues rest on a tall and solid base decorated with cartouches of several sovereigns such as the Hyksos king Nehsey, Ramesses II, Merneptah and Psusennes I, who all, over the centuries, usurped the group of sphinxes, fascinated by their idea. Egyptologists had mistakenly called them “the Hyksos sphinxes” because of their strange visage and the different names of the usurpers containing a Hyksos ruler too.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Amenemhat III, ca. 1860-1814 BC. Grey granite, from Tanis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 15210; CG 394

Cube Statue of Hetep

Cube Statue of Hetep

In this example of a block statue made of granite, Hetep is wearing a smooth, flaring wig with a slight central parting that leaves his protruding ears exposed. In contrast with the modeling of the body the face, with its soft, delicate lines, is carefully finished. 

The eyes, with the typical eye-paint, are large, the nose is regularly shaped and the mouth small with full lips. The chin is thrust slightly forwards and is adorned with a short beard striated with horizontal incised lines. 

The arms rest flat on the upper surface of the cube while the large legs with thick ankles and broad feet are well defined below. Deep incisions delineate bone structure and musculature. An offering verse and the name and titles of the figure are incised on either side of and between the legs.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Amenemhat I, ca. 1991-1962 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 48858

Usekh Collar of Princess NeferuptahThe Usekh o…

Usekh Collar of Princess Neferuptah

The Usekh or Wesekh is a personal ornament, a type of broad collar or necklace. It was one of the most common types of Egyptian ornaments. It could be composed of faience beads, flower petals, or gold with semi-precious stone or glass inlays.

Six rows of beads terminate with the head of a golden falcon at each end; these were used as fasteners. Two smaller chains of beads are attached to the falcons, leading to a counterpoise, which also bears the image of a falcon, with further horizontal rows of beads hanging from it. At the bottom of the collar, teardrop shaped pendants can be seen, connected to a row of small golden beads.

Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, reign of Amenemhat III. ca. 1860-1814 BC.

Made of gold, carnelian, feldspar and glass paste.

From the small pyramid of Princess Neferuptah at Hawara. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 90199

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