- Museum number
Fragmentary greywacke seated figure of the king Senusret III, the lower body and base now missing.
The king is depicted wearing the nemes headcloth, with the striped lappets reaching to the chest and the material tucked behind the oversized ears. The horizontal band of the nemes is set low on the forehead with faint ridges, and on above the forehead is the coiled body of the uraeus cobra, now headless. The upper body of the king is bare, with subtle modelling of the chest and abdomen. The king wears a necklace composed of different sized beading, with an amulet in the centre. The upper arms are held against the sides of the body, though the remains of the left forearm suggest a bent elbow, possibly placed on top of the king’s legs. The eyes are wide and almond shaped, with a slight drooping of the eyelids at the outer corners. The figure also has a broad nose and the face appears fleshy particularly around the jawline.
In addition to the loss of the lower body, both arms and sections of the torso are damaged. The nose and mouth have also been damaged, with numerous small chips visible across the stone surface at the face, the outer edges of the wig, and around the chest area.
- Production date
- 1874BC-1855BC (circa)
Height: 23 centimetres (max)
Weight: 3.83 kilograms
Width: 14 centimetres
Depth: 11.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- While the figure is fragmentary and any accompanying inscription has not survived as it was likely inscribed across the seat which is now lost, stylistic qualities such as the oversized ears and recognisable facial features indicate that this statue represents the king Senusret III, of whom over a hundred surviving statues are known (earlier identifications of the figure included Amenemhat II; Budge 1922). Many of the existing representations of Senusret III include the adornment of a necklace in contrast to earlier rulers who were rarely depicted wearing jewellery other than the typical broad-collar and bracelets (Haney 2020), however the amulet worn by the British Museum figure is unusual in its shape (Polz 1995; Russmann 2001). This type of amulet has variously been identified as a double pouch pierced by a thorn, or equated with late Old Kingdom amulets.
Though the provenance of the figure is uncertain the potential origin includes Elephantine (Vandenbeusch 2016), based on a fragmentary lower part of a seated statue which was proposed to potentially belong to the British Museum figure (detailed in Russmann 2001).
H. R. Hall, 1930. 'Some Wooden Figures of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties in the British Museum. Part I', Journal of Egyptian Archaeology Vol. 15, p. 157, Pl. 30.
L.S. Haney, 2020. Visualising Coregency: An Exploration of the Link between Royal Image and Co-Rule during the Reign of Senwosret III and Amenemhet III, Harvard Egyptological Studies Volume 8 (Leiden), p. 188, n. 286.
D. Soliman, 2019. ‘At the Hands of Senwosret III? The Iconography and Style of the Reworked Colossi Cairo JE 45975 and JE 45976’, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology Vol. 105 Issue. 1, p. 98, n. 9.
M. Vandenbeusch, A. Semat, M. Maitland, 2016. Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt (New Haven; London), p. 170, no. 107.
D. Wildung, 2000. Ägypten 2000 v. Chr: die Geburt des Individuums (Munich), p. 106, no. 38, p. 182.
F. Polz, 1995. Die Bildnisse Sesostris’ III. und Amenemhets III. Bemerkungen zur königlichen Rundplastik der späten 12. Dynastie’, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 51, p. 227-254.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1992 Jul-Oct, Norfolk, Swaffham Museum, Ancient Egypt.
2006-2007 6 Oct-18 Feb, Tokyo, National Museum of Nature and Science, Mummy: The Inside Story
2007 17 Mar-17 Jun, Kobe City Museum, Mummy: The Inside Story
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
2016 8 Mar-12 Jun, Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2018 7 Jun-16 Sep, Barcelona, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2018-2019 16 Oct-20 Jan, Madrid, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2019 19 Feb-25 Aug, Girona, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
2019-2020 24 Sept-12 Jan, Seville, La Caixa, Pharaoh: King of Egypt
- incomplete - leg section lost
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number