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Upper part of a limestone statue of Queen Ahmose-Merytamun

 

Height: 111.000 cm (max.)

EA 93

Room 4: Egyptian sculpture

    Upper part of a limestone statue of Queen Ahmose-Merytamun

    From Karnak, Egypt
    Early 18th Dynasty, about 1500 BC

    The lower part is still at Karnak

    Giovanni Belzoni discovered this piece of a rare early Eighteenth-Dynasty sculpture while working in Karnak in 1817, in the area now known as the Eighth Pylon, a gateway on the southern axis of the temple. He found the statue in two pieces, removed the upper part and intended to return for the lower. He failed to do this, and the lower part is still visible there today.

    Until the 1970s, when it was realized that these two fragments belonged together, the identity of this upper part was not known, though on stylistic grounds it was thought to represent a queen of the first half of the Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1550-1295 BC). The inscriptions on the base of the statue are damaged, but certainly give the name of Queen Ahmose-Merytamun, wife and sister of Amenhotep I (1525-1504 BC), and perhaps also her sister, Sitamun. The queen is shown wearing one of the earliest examples of the so-called 'Hathor wig'; a style of wig that resembles one worn by the goddess Hathor.

    R. Tefnin, 'Une statue de reine British Museum et Karnak et les paradoxes du portrait égyptien', Journal of Egyptian Archaeo-11, 69 (1983), pp. 96-107

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