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Updated: 27 April 2015
Red quartzite block statue of Teti, Viceroy of Kush: the statue is finely carved, and the features of the squatting body and the plinth are modelled, in contrast with more schematically modelled styles of block statue. Teti is dressed in a leopard skin, whose tail falls over the plinth beside his right foot, and wears sandals. Around his neck he wears a pendant formed of the 'ankh' sign and the hetep ('peace') sign. On his upper arm is inscribed the cartouche of his sovereign, Tuthmosis III; this does not represent a tattoo, but is a graphic declaration of loyalty first attested in this period. He holds a lotus flower in his left hand. Emblematic hieroglyphs are inscribed on his hands: on the left hand are signs showing the red crown of Lower Egypt and the moon, and on the right hand signs showing the white crown of Upper Egypt and the sun. Two horizontal lines and nine vertical lines of Middle Egyptian hieroglyphic text are carved at the front, and one horizontal line and three vertical lines on the back pillar; all read right to left.
- 1475BC (circa)
- Height: 60 centimetres
- Width: 29 centimetres
- Depth: 39.5 centimetres
- Weight: 82 kilograms
Inscription CommentIncised. On the left, a red crown with a crescent moon and on the right, a white crown with the sun. These hieroglyphs, used as emblems, have no exact parallels; but they clearly refer to the king, Thutmosis III, as ruler of all that the sun and moon encircle.
Inscription Positionneck pendant
Inscription Transliteration‘nḫ ḥtp
Inscription TranslationLife and peace!
Inscription Positionhorizontal text, top front
Inscription TranslationAn offering which the King gives to Amun[-Re and] Re-Horakhty, that they may give beatification, power, justification, joy and fair blessedness.
Inscription CommentIncised in rather large hieroglyphs.
Inscription Positionvertical lines, front
Inscription CommentIncised. Each vertical line then begins 'to the spirit of, with a series of titles; each line ends with 'Teti true-of-voice' at the bottom (with slight variations in the name: ll. 7-9 read 'Tetity').
Inscription Positionhorizontal line, bottom front
Inscription TranslationHis son, the Scribe of Divine Offerings, Hori, born of the Lady of the House, Mutnesut.
Inscription Positionhorizontal line, back-pillar
Inscription TranslationThe King's Scribe, Chief Lector Priest and Craftsman (? a 'cryptographic' sign), Teti.
Inscription CommentIncised. Three columns give the names and titles of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. In this period, it is very unusual to find so long a genealogy - five generations - on a private monument, but the grandfather and great-grandfather were worth commemorating because they had held the very high office of viceroy of Nubia.''
Inscription Positionvertical lines, back-pillar
Inscription TranslationSon of the Scribe of the Divine Offerings of Amun, Ahmes Petjena true-of-voice; son of the King's Son and Overseer of Southern Foreign Lands, Ahmes Turo true-of-voice; son of the King's Son and Overseer of Southern Foreign Lands, Ahmes Sataiit true-of-voice.
The emblematic hieroglyphs are inscribed on his hands combine to suggest that the kingship of Tuthmosis is synonymous with all that the sun and moon encircle.
As the genealogy on this statue makes clear, in this period the title 'King's Son' was awarded to people who were not children of the king. The statue was placed in a chapel in the temple enclosure at Karnak. See, for example, J. L . Halio, 'Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice (Oxford, 1993), 1-83; A. Sinfield, 'Cultural Politics: Queer Reading' (London, 1994), 1-20.
Bibliography: E. Russmann, 'Eternal Egypt : masterworks of ancient art from the British Museum' , (New York, 2001), 124-125 No 47; B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' II (2) (Oxford, 1974), p.279; R. Schulz, 'Die Entwicklung und Bedeutung des Kuboiden Statuentypus', 34 (1992).
H.R. Hall, 'Hieroglyphic Texts from Egyptian Stelae etc. in the British Museum' 5 (London, 1914), pl. 25;
L. Habachi,'The first two viceroys of Kush and their family', 'Kush: Journal of the Sudan Antiquities Service' 7 (1959), 44-62;
J.Vandier, 'Manuel d'archéologie égyptienne' 3 (Paris, 1958), 456—7;
H.G. Fischer,'More emblematic uses from ancient Egypt', Metropolitan Museum Journal 11 (1976), 125-8;
R. Schulz, 'Die Entwicklung imd Bedeutung des kuboiden Statuentypus: eine Untersuchung zu den sogenannten 'Wurfelhockern'', 'Hildescheimer ägyptologische Beiträge' 33 (Hildesheim, 1992), no. 218 [pls.98,a,b] and Volume 33 p.377-378.
'Temples and Tombs' [exhibition catalogue] (American Federation of Arts, 2006), 99, cat no. 57.
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
2009 2 Mar-29 Jun, Paris, Louvre Museum, Les Portes du Ciel
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA60913
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