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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Upper section of a granodiorite figure of Tutankhamun: wearing a royal 'nemes' headcloth, false beard, beaded broad collar, and elaborately pleated kilt, steps forward to present a chest-high pillar that once tapered toward the statue base (now lost). The three exposed surfaces of the pillar are decorated with low raised relief depicting lotus blossoms, bunches of grapes, pomegranates, sheaves of grain, and clutches of bagged ducks hung by their feet. An adjoining fragment from the lower part of the statue preserves the umbels of papyrus plants that "grew" from the base on the proper left side of the sculpture. This may be a depiction of the pharaoh in the guise of the god Hapi, who embodied the Nile in flood. The back-pillar is inscribed.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1350BC (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 167.7 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 48 centimetres
    • Depth: 72 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

        back pillar
      • Inscription Translation

        There lives the perfect god [i.e., the king] who does what is beneficial for his father Amun-Re, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Djeserkheperure-Setepenre, the son of Re Hor[emheb] beloved of Amun ...
      • Inscription Comment

        One column of incised hieroglyphs. Both cartouches with Horemheb's name are original, and the rest of the inscription provides no evidence of usurpation, which has led Egyptologists to accept this sculpture as an original work of his reign. The text continues on another similar statue now in the Cairo Museum.
  • Curator's comments

    Although the cartouches give Horemheb's name, the face does not exemplify Horemheb's physiognomy, nor the style peculiar to his reign. The features and the way they are rendered evoke Tutankhamun's portrait in sculptures that can now be assigned with confidence to the later years of his reign. This sculpture would seem, then, to have been made for Tutankhamun. Either the back pillar had remained uninscribed during Tutankhamun's lifetime and was thus free to receive Horemheb's text when he ascended the throne, or Horemheb's sculptors usurped it for their king by cutting down the surface to remove completely any trace of an original text naming Tutankhamun.

    Attached to .102

    B. Porter & R. Moss, 'Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs and Paintings' II (Oxford, 1972), p. 533;
    J. Baines, 'Fecundity Figures' (Warminster, 1985), 119, fig. 80;
    T. G. H. James & W. V. Davies, ‘Egyptian Sculpture’ (London, 1983), p. 43 with fig. 51;
    'Temples and Tombs' [exhibition catalogue] (American Federation of Arts, 2006): 57, cat no. 16
    Illustrated: S. Quirke, 'Ancient Egyptian Religion' (London, The British Museum Press, 1992), p. 58;
    T.G.H. James, Ancient Egypt: the land and its legacy (London, 1988), p. 211;
    N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 184-5.Comments on this and others of the genre also in Laboury, La statuaire to Thoutmosis III, 136-9; the Thutmosis III parallel is considered by Loeben, Beobachtungen zu Kontext und Funktion königlicher Statuen im Amun-Tempel von Karnak, 88-92.


  • Bibliography

    • Russmann 2001 63 bibliographic details
    • Shaw & Nicholson 1995 p298 bibliographic details
    • James 1970 Pl.3 bibliographic details
    • Strudwick 2006 pp.184-185 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G4/B13

  • 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
    2014 24 July -26 October, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, Discovering Tutankhamun

  • Condition

    fair (upper part only)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    This is not certain, but at the present it seems possible that this is part of the first Salt list. Certainly on display in the 1834 reinstallation [NCS, to check further]

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • ES.75


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Object reference number: YCA470

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