Height: 61.000 cm
Gift of Matthew Duane
Enlightenment: Ancient scripts
Statue of the priest Henat
Probably from Sais,
26th Dynasty, 550-520 BC
This black basalt statue shows an Egyptian priest holding a small shrine containing a figure of the goddess Neith. It was donated to the British Museum in 1771 by the lawyer Matthew Duane.
At the time it was given to the museum no one could read the hieroglyps on the statue. But we now know that the text identifies the figure as the 'chief lector priest Henat, surnamed Khnumjbremen'. The head has been lost.
The statue was probably erected in the temple of Neith at Sais (modern Sa el-Hagar). The inscriptions evoke offerings in the hope that 'his [Henat's] name will last in the Temple of Neith for all time'. Henat was the temple's high priest and came from a family of priests. He lived during the reign of the Egyptian king Amasis (570-526 BC) and the first Persian rulers of Egypt.
A similar statue of Henat is in the Museo Archeologico, Florence.
B. Porter and R. L. B. Moss, Topographical bibliography of (7 volumes, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1927)