Height: 122.600 cm (max.)
Depth: 39.000 cm
Gift of King George III (1766)
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Basalt slab of Nectanebo I
Found at Alexandria, Egypt
30th Dynasty, around 370 BC
A kneeling figure of the king
Nectanebo I (380-362 BC) was the first king of the last dynasty in the traditional structure of Egyptian chronology (the Thirtieth Dynasty), and the last major native pharaoh. His reign can be considered as a renaissance of art and building work. Many temples throughout the land benefited from his patronage; it was probably under Nectanebo that the first pylon (gateway) of the temple of Amun at Karnak was constructed. Massive mud brick enclosure walls were also built around many of Egypt's temples.
We do not know from which building this block came, but perhaps a structure at Sais or Heliopolis. It was probably part of a screen wall in a chapel. It shows the king kneeling making an offering. The carving is extremely well executed, with much detail. The surface of the stone is highly polished, to a level rarely seen in Egypt before the Thirtieth Dynasty and Ptolemaic period (about 332-30 BC).
E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)
N. Grimal, A history of Ancient Egypt (Oxford, 1992)