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Limestone block statue of Inebny


Height: 52.000 cm

Acquired in 1835 at the sale of the Salt Collection

EA 1131

Ancient Egypt and Sudan

    Limestone block statue of Inebny

    From Thebes, Egypt
    18th Dynasty, around 1450 BC

    Evidence of the official persecution of a king's history

    The inscription on this block statue contains the conventional prayer for offerings, and Inebny's name and titles, as commander of bowmen and overseer of the king's weapons. It also records that it was 'made by the favour' of the joint sovereigns Hatshepsut (1479-1457 BC) and Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC), who ruled together for a time. Hatshepsut's name is preceded by the phrase 'perfect goddess, lady of Two Lands', a feminine version of the titles of Pharaoh. However, Hatshepsut's name has subsequently been erased.

    Thutmose III was the son of Thutmose II (1492-1479 BC) by a relatively minor queen, Isis, and was only six years old on his accession. Consequently Hatshepsut, Thutmose II's principal wife, acted as regent. At some point around year 7 of his reign, Hatshepsut declared herself king and took on the full titulary and iconography of royalty, only the second woman to do so in ancient Egypt. She never denied that Thutmose was also king, but he was kept in a secondary role until her death in around year 21 of his reign.

    Later in the reign, there was an official persecution of Hatshepsut's memory, and public monuments were comprehensively edited, and her name erased.

    The incised hieroglyphic text was painted blue to stand out against the white background. The black of the wig, eyes and eyebrows also add to the sculpture's striking appearance.

    E.J. Lambert (ed.), Hieroglyphic texts from Egypti, Part 5 (London, British Museum, 1914)

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

    R. Schulz, Die Entwicklung und Bedeutung (Hildesheim, 1992)

    S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)


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