Quartzite statue of Amenwahsu

From Thebes, perhaps Karnak, Egypt
Possibly 19th Dynasty, about 1250 BC

A priest presenting a stela to Re-Horakhty

The stelaphorous (Greek for 'stela-carrying') statue became common in the New Kingdom (about1550-1070 BC) and shows the statue owner holding up an inscribed stela to a favoured god. The inscription is usually a prayer to the god. Stelaphorous statues might be placed in a temple as a memorial. Or perhaps in a structure or niche over a tomb, where they are linked with the worship of a solar deity. It is not known where this statue was originally located, although it is said to have been found in Karnak. The stela is dedicated to Re-Horakhty, a form of the sun-god, so it could have come from either a temple memorial or a tomb.

The statue owner is Amenwahsu, overseer of priests of Montu, lord of Thebes, and of Montu, lord of Tod (a temple located about forty kilometres south of Luxor). There are two possible contenders for the original location of the statue: a tomb located on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes (no. 274) is that of Amenwahsu; and a priest called Amenwahsu was associated with the memorial temple of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC), and lived on into the reign of the king's successor, Merenptah (1213-1203 BC). The men referred to at both locations and the statue owner could have lived at the same time. They could even be the same man.

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More information


T.G.H. James, 'Le prétendu "sanctuaire de Karnak" selon Budge', Bulletin de la société françai, 75 (1976), pp. 7-30

L. Habachi, 'Amenwahsu attached to the cult of Anubis, lord of the dawning land', Mitteilungen des Deutschen Arc, 14 (1956), pp. 52-62

T.G.H. James, Ancient Egypt: the land and it (London, 1988)

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


Height: 56.000 cm

Museum number

EA 480



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