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Colossal granite fist

 

Length: 129.500 cm (max.)

Gift of King George III

EA 9

Room 4: Egyptian sculpture

    Colossal granite fist

    From Memphis, Egypt
    19th Dynasty, reign of Ramesses II, about 1250 BC

    Part of a statue, possibly from the Temple of Ptah at Memphis

    This red granite fist was almost certainly part of one of the colossal statues that Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) constructed. One of the statues stands outside the main railway station in Cairo, while another (made of limestone) lies fallen at the modern tourist site of Memphis. Other granite statues have been located, but it is uncertain to which one this left fist belonged, though it was said to have come from one of a pair that stood outside the Temple of Ptah at Memphis.

    The fist was first noted by the scholars of the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt, and it came to the British Museum in 1802 as a result of the Treaty of Alexandria.

    E.F. Jomard (ed.), Description de LEgypte, vol. V (Paris, De l'imprimerie imperiale, 1809)

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    On display: Room 4: Egyptian sculpture

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