Height: 71.500 cm
Width: 33.500 cm
Thickness: 12.000 cm
Gift of the
Ancient Egypt and Sudan
Fragment of wall relief showing the sister of Djehutyhotep
From the tomb of Djehutyhotep, Deir el-Bersha,
12th Dynasty, about 1850 BC
Part of a row of figures of the tomb-owner's female relatives
Deir el-Bersha, situated on the east bank of the Nile just north of Tell el-Amarna, was the necropolis (cemetery) of the First Intermediate Period (about 2160-2040 BC) and Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC) governors of the Fifteenth Upper Egyptian province (or nome). The most impressive of the tombs (now all damaged) was that of the nomarch (nome governor) Djehutyhotep, who seems to have lived during the reigns of Amenemhat II (1922-1878 BC), Senwosret II (1880-1874 BC) and Senwosret III (1874-1855 BC). His tomb is particularly renowned for the scene (now destroyed) of four teams of men dragging a huge statue of him.
There were, however, many other reliefs. One wall shows a row of the nomarch's daughters, while another, less well preserved, might have shown some of his sisters; this woman is the first of the row. Before her stood a smaller figure of an attendant holding a fly whisk, which can be seen in this relief. The woman's figure is shown wearing a tight dress which accentuates the idealized form of a woman in Egyptian relief sculpture. This practice lasted until just before the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1550-1295 BC).
C.A.R. Andrews, Eternal Egypt: treasures from, exh. cat. (Hong Kong, Museum of Art, 1998)
P.E. Newberry, el Bersheh I (London, 1894)
E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)