- Museum number
Limestone block statue of the male official Sahathor on a slim rectangular base.
The figure is depicted in the block statue form, squatting on the ground with the knees drawn up to the chest and the arms crossed resting on the knees. The cloak worn by the figure envelops the entire body with the exception of the feet and hands. The block shape hints at the limbs underneath, particularly through visible curves of the elbows and the bulge of the lower legs at the front, and the curves of the upper arms, thighs, and narrowing of the waist at either side of the body. The figure wears a simple shoulder-length wig tucked behind the large ears. His eyes are almond shaped with a thin incised line above to convey a fold of flesh between the eye and the eyebrow, and he has a short broad nose and wide mouth with thick lips. The face is rounded with a clear dent at the chin, and the face appears fleshy around the jawline and neck. The front of the block form features two columns of incised text across the centre, both reading from right to left. Around the edges of the statue base a continuous horizontal line of text is also inscribed.
The front corners of the statue base are both damaged, and the nose, mouth and chin of Sahathor have also been chipped. There are various further small chips to the stone surface across the wig and particularly at the front and sides of the block form.
- Production date
- 1900BC (circa)
Height: 42.50 centimetres
Weight: 22.50 kilograms
Width: 20 centimetres
Depth: 29 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The statue belongs with a large limestone stela which functioned as a shrine and false door, and was inscribed with evocations to the gods Osiris and Anubis, now also in the British Museum collection (EA 569: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA569). The inscription within the stela mirrors that also found on the statue, with both deities also evoked within the block statue text.
Sahathor lived during the reign of Amenemhat II in the Twelfth Dynasty; his monuments were found in Abydos, though their exact provenance remains unknown (PM V). The statue and accompanying stela texts appear funerary in nature, and it has been hypothesised that the objects would originally have been intended for a chapel setting (James and Davies 1983), possibly along the processional route towards Osiris’ principal cult centre (Simpson 1974; Russmann 2001).
Arts Council, 1962. 5,000 years of Egyptian art: the Diploma Galleries Royal Academy of Art, London 22 June to 12 August (London), p. 16, no. 42.
B.V. Bothmer, 1959. ‘Block Statues of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom: Ipepy’s Funerary Monument’, Brooklyn Museum Bulletin Vol. 20, No. 4, p. 20, Fig. 10.
T. G. H. James & W. V. Davies, 1983. Egyptian Sculpture (London), p. 14, Fig. 12.
R. Parkinson, 1991. Voices from Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings (Norman), p. 137-139.
G. Robins, 2008. The Art of Ancient Egypt Revised Edition (Cambridge, Mass.), no. 114.
R. Schulz, 1992. Die Entwicklung und Bedeutung des kuboiden Statuentypus: Eine Untersuchung zu den sogenannten Würfelhockern (Hildesheim), p. 372-373, Pl. 96b.
W. K. Simpson, 1974. The Terrace of the Great God at Abydos: The Offering Chapels of Dynasties 12 and 13 (New Haven; Philadelphia), p. 17, 23, Pl. 18.
D. Wildung, 2000. Ägypten 2000 v. Chr. die Geburt des Individuums (Munich), p. 162, no. 81.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
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
2009 2 Mar-29 Jun, Paris, Louvre Museum, Les Portes du Ciel
2011 10 Feb - 10 June, Coventry, Herbert Museum, Secret Egypt
2011 10 June - 24th Oct Torquay Museum, Secret Egypt
2015-2016 5th Oct - 24th Jan. New York. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Middle Kingdom.
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: BS.570 (Birch Slip Number)