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  • Description

    Sandstone head of Mentuhotep II: This head comes from an Osiride statue, which represented the king with his royal headdress but with his body wrapped in a short white cloak. Beneath it, his arms were crossed over his breast, with only his hands exposed. Since the paint on this head is unusually well preserved, we can see that it followed the standard convention of showing the king's face a dark red, as on most representations of Egyptian men. His eyes and eyebrows were painted black and white. The white crown retains traces of white paint.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2055BC-2004BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 77 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 21 centimetres
    • Depth: 31 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    The Osiride royal statue, apparently an innovation of Mentuhotep's reign, expressed the king's assimilation after death with the great god Osiris, the king of the dead.

    Bibliography: 'Art and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt' [exhibition catalogue] (Japan 1999-2000): No 1 B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' II (Oxford, 1972), p.393
    'Temples and Tombs' [exhibition catalogue] (American Federation of Arts, 2006), 42, cat no.1;
    T. G. H. James & W. V. Davies, ‘Egyptian Sculpture’ (London, 1983), p. 25, fig. 24;
    G. Robins, ‘The Art of Ancient Egypt’ (London, 1997), p. 94, fig. 94.


  • Bibliography

    • Russmann 2001 15 bibliographic details
  • Exhibition history


    2006 7 Sept-26 Nov, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
    2006 21 Dec-2007 18 Mar, Jackonsville, Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Temples & Tombs
    2007 15 Apr-8 Jul, Raleigh, North Carolina Museum of Art, Temples & Tombs
    2007 16 Nov-2008 10 Feb, New Mexico, Albuquerque Museum, Temples & Tombs
    2011 Jul–Sept, Newcastle, Great North Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Oct–Jan, Dorchester, Dorset County Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Feb–June, Leeds City Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Jul-Oct, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2012 Nov– Feb 2013, Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2013 Mar–Aug, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery , Pharaoh: King of Egypt
    2015 onwards, International touring exhibition TBC, Pharaoh: King of Egypt, PROMISED

  • Condition

    incomplete - head only

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: YCA60937

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