Queen Karama as Goddess Neith, Dyn. 22

Queen Karama as Goddess Neith, Dyn. 22
Period:Egypt, 3rd Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22, Takelot II/Hedjkheperre-Setepenre
Dating:850 BC–825 BC
Origin:Egypt, Lower Egypt
Physical:25.1cm. (9.8 in.) - 1125 g. (39.7 oz.)

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Links to others from Dynasty 22

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Shawabti of Sheshonq II (?) Dyn. 22, 890 BC
Shawabti of Sheshonq II (?) Dyn. 22, 890 BC
Shawabti of Sheshonq II (?) Dyn. 22, 890 BC
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Links to others representing Neith

Queen as Goddess Neith seated, Dyn. 25106

Links to others of type Statuette-woman

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Queen as Isis nursing, Dyn. 25
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Queen Hatshepsut as Hathor, Dyn. 18
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  This tall bronze statuette portrays Queen Ka-ra-ma II of Dynasty 22, wearing the crown of Lower Egypt, as goddess Neith. She keeps her right arm stiffly along her side and would have held the scepter in her left hand--now missing.

This is such a personalized representation of Queen Karama II, that here the goddess is the personification of the queen. In this portrait, the facial features are not a reflection of a stereotype or of a known aesthetic standard. Instead, they probably reflect how the Queen wanted to be portrayed. The eyes are not particularly wide, the nose and lips are small, and the chin vanishes. The ears are placed far back on the head, and the cheekbones are high. The body, however, follows the fashion of the times: strong shoulders and chest, ample breasts, swelling belly and hips, muscled thighs. Arms and legs are exceptionally long, and the feet are unusually small. The back of the queen is beautifully sculptural, while her nape is rather masculine. The large collar draped over her chest is completely gilded, but now too faint to assess its quality.

“The tombs and shawabtis of Libyan queens [Egyptian queens of Libyan descent]… have generally not been discovered. The only one, found in 1915, is that of a Queen Kama (possibly the abbreviation of Karomama), whose name appears in a royal cartouche on a steatite heart scarab. Located close to Leontopolis, this tomb yielded, beside the scarab, some other jewels among which a very beautiful gold pectoral with lapis inlays, a solar ram kneeling on a lotus flower in front of Isis, to whom a standing Goddess Maat offers a libation. A single shawabti measuring 12.5 cm was removed from the tomb, with a ‘very poorly written’ and rather terse (‘Here I am’) inscription” (Aubert 1974:162).

“The queen’s figure exhibits the large breast, buttocks, and thighs that became fashionable during the Third Intermediate Period” (Robins 1997:196).

The hieroglyphic inscriptions on the pedestal of this bronze statuette of Queen Ka-ra-ma II’ have been partially defaced, but we can still read reliably: “Words from Goddess Neith: May she enjoy long life, prosperity, health! to KA… KA - MA… of Upper and Lower Egypt.”

Queen Karama
Karama was both granddaughter and mother of kings. She was the daughter of Nimlot, High-Priest of Thebes, who had been appointed to this position by his father King Osorkon II. She became Great Royal Spouse of Takelot II, sixth king of Dynasty 22 (850-825 BC.), and mother of King Osorkon III, third king of Dynasty 23 at Leontopolis.

Bibliography (for this item)

Aubert, Jacques-F., and Liliane Aubert
1974 Statuettes égyptiennes: chaouabtis, ouchebtis. Librairie d’Amerique et d’ Orient, Paris, France. (162)

Clayton, Peter A.
1994 Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames and Hudson, London, UK.

Gauthier, Henri
1912 Le livre des rois d’Egypte. Tome 3: de la XIXe à la XXIVe dynastie. Institut Français d’Archeologie Orientale, Cairo, Egypt. (355)

Grimal, Nicolas
1988 Histoire de l’Egypte ancienne. Fayard, Paris, France.

Khalil, Hassan M.
1976 Preliminary Studies on the Sanusret Collection. Manuscript, Musée l’Egypte et le Monde Antique, Monaco-Ville, Monaco.

Matouk, Fouad S.
1971 Corpus du scarabé égyptien. Tome 1: Les scarabés royaux. Fouad Matouk, Beyrut, Lebanon.

Pirenne, Jacques
1963 Histoire de la civilisation de l’Egypte ancienne. Editions de la Baconnière/Albin Michel, Neuchatel, Swizerland.

Rice, Michael
2002 Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt. Routledge, London, United Kingdom. (88, 144)

Robins, Gay
1993 Women in Ancient Egypt. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Russmann, Edna R.
2001 Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum. University of California Press, Berkeley. (215)

Tiradritti, Francesco
1998 Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. White Star Publishers, Vercelli, Italy.

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