King wearing the nemes, New Kingdom

King wearing the nemes, New Kingdom
Period:Egypt, New Kingdom, New Kingdom
Dating:1325 BC–1100 BC
Material:Wood (undetermined)
Physical:27.1cm. (10.6 in.) - 2350 g. (83 oz.)

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Links to others of type Statue

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  This wooden statue portrays an unidentified king wearing the nemes headdress with the uraeus (cobra) and a bronze ceremonial ‘false beard’. The style is indicative of New Kingdom, from late Dynasty 18 to Dynasty 20 (1325-1100 BC).

“The pharaoh invariably wore headgear of some kind, ranging from the double crown to the simple ‘nemes’ headcloth...This was a piece of striped cloth pulled tight across the forehead and tied into a kind of tail at the back, while at each side of the face two strands or lappets hung down. The brow was decorated with the Uraeus” (Shaw & Nicholson 1995:74, 122).

Khalil (1976:[2]3-5) described this piece as follows: “The Osirian beard means that the king represents Osiris, god of the dead, and therefore indicating a dead king, while the nemes indicates a living king. But in this case, the beard indicates divinity, and we can accept the idea that this king was deified. In the New Kingdom, which is the timeframe of this piece, Ahmose I, Thutmose I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep II, Amenhotep III, and Akhenaten were all deified—sometimes during their lifetime... The work is very precise, in the best tradition, and must be dated to the New Kingdom: the exacting carving of the nemes and the way it rests on the forehead, the detailed carving of the ears, the elongated eyes with extended brows so prevalent during the New Kingdom, and the features of the nearly personal portrait with a very straight nose. and a small fleshy mouth, all these indications would probably tie this king to Dynasty 18”.

Bibliography (for this item)

Khalil, Hassan M.
1976 Preliminary Studies on the Sanusret Collection. Manuscript, Musée l’Egypte et le Monde Antique, Monaco-Ville, Monaco. ([2]3-5)

Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson
1995 The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. British Museum Press, London, United Kingdom. (74, 122)

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