Head from a statue of Amenhotep III

From the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, Thebes, Egypt
18th Dynasty, about 1350 BC

Wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt

The mortuary temple of Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes contained a large number of statues. This head is one of the largest, after the nearby Colossi of Memnon.

The head was originally part of a figure of Amenhotep III that stood between pillars on the west side of a temple court. The statue was originally between 7.5 and 8 metres high. The head of one other statue and numerous body-fragments of yet more were found during excavations in 1964. Each figure probably held the crook and the flail, symbols of Egyptian kingship.

The head shown here wears the red crown, symbol of Lower Egypt; the brown quartzite from which the statue was carved probably comes from the same region. A number of statues standing on the east side of the temple court wear the white crown of Upper Egypt; suitably made of red granite from Aswan in Upper Egypt.

The head is a superb example of the Egyptian sculptor's art. The craftsman has taken advantage of the way that this particular quartzite can be polished to make certain features stand out: polishing more around the eyes and less around the mouth and leaving the line of the beard and eyebrows unpolished, which makes them stand out from the face.

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Head from a statue of Amenhotep III

Front view

  • ¾ view from front

    ¾ view from front


More information


A.P. Kozloff and B.M. Bryan, Egypts dazzling sun: Amenhotep (Cleveland Museum of Art, 1992)

E.R. Russmann, Eternal Egypt: masterworks of (University of California Press, 2001)


Height: 117.000 cm (max.)
Width: 81.000 cm
Depth: 66.000 cm

Museum number

EA 7


Salt Collection 1821


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