Height: 68.500 cm
Purchased from the collection of John Barker in 1833
Room 4: Egyptian sculpture
Quartzite figure of a baboon
18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC
'He who cuts off the face of him who cuts off your face'
Ancient Egyptians might identify the baboon
with at least three main deities. The first was the sun-god, as
baboons screech at sunrise. Religious papyri often depict baboons
adoring the rising sun. The second deity, who this sculpture is
normally thought to represent, is
However, the baboon
is also associated with Hapy, one of the four
The figure is carved from the brown quartzite of Lower Egypt so favoured by Amenhotep III. It has been suggested that the statue may have come from Amenhotep's tomb, but divine statues in royal burials are more likely to have been made of wood. It seems more likely that this is one of the huge number of statues of deities made for Amenhotep's mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile.
A.P. Kozloff and B.M. Bryan, Egypts dazzling sun: Amenhotep (Cleveland Museum of Art, 1992)
S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)