This object is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tutankhamun Wearing the Blue Crown, ca. 1336-1327 B.C.E.; late Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun, New Kingdom. Indurated limestone; H. 5 7/8 in. (14.9 cm) Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rogers Fund, 1950 (50.6).

Image Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

Statue of Amun with features of Tutankhamun, provenance unknown, possibly Thebes, late Dynasty 18-early Dynasty 19 (1332-1292 BCE), greywacke

Amun typically appears as a man wearing a tall, double-plumed headdress. His tall headdress is missing from this statue, but his crown bears traces of gilding. Amun wears the false beard of a deity, an elaborately beaded broad collar, and a short kilt decorated on the belt with a tyet-amulet, a symbol related both to the goddess Isis and to the ankh, the hieroglyph meaning “life”. The god also holds ankhs indicating his immortality. His hands, which have been intentionally cut back, may represent a deliberate alteration to allow the statue to fit into a shrine or a portable ceremonial boat used to carry it in processions.

Photo: Tom Jenkins.

 

Monumental wall relief of the royal family worshipping Aten, possibly from Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), quartzite

This monumental wall relief depicts the solar diety Aten as a disk hovering above the pharaoh Akhenaten and a female member of the royal family. The Aten’s rays descend toward the figures, each terminating in a hand. Some time after the restoration of the traditional religion, this relief was cut down, placed face down on the ground, re-inscribed, and reused, probably as a base for a statue in the shape of a sphinx for the later pharaoh Merenptah (1213-1204 BCE). Ironically, this recycling accidentally preserved the decorated front of the relief from total destruction.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

Seal of Amenhotep III (top and bottom), provenance unknown, possibly Thebes, Dynasty 18 (reign of Amenhotep III, 1390-1353 BCE), steatite

This seal takes the form of a prostrate king in prayer before the god Atum, whose name appears between the king’s hands. The inscription lists both the king’s birth name, Amenhotep, and his throne name which he received upon coronation, Neb-maat-Re. It also has the following titles: “The good god,” “Lord of the Two Lands,” and “Ruler of Thebes.”

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

 

Statue of an Amarna Princess, probably from Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), limestone and pigment

Amarna art placed considerable emphasis on the six daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Nefernefruaten Tasherit, Nefernefrure and Setepenre. These princesses appear in scenes of the royal family worshipping the Aten and in domestic settings, as well as in sculpture in the round. The identity of this princess is not known.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

Relief with Aten, Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), calcite (Egyptian alabaster)

This relief fragment shows the hands at the ends of the Aten's sun rays, one of the deity's few visible human features.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

Ring bezel, Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), faience

Ring bezel decorated with the cartouche of Tutankhamun.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 

Figurine of Ptah, Memphis, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III - Tutankhamun (1390-1322 BCE), polychrome faience

Brilliantly colored and designed as part of a larger statue, this figurine was likely set up in a shrine or temple at Memphis. The god Ptah appears seated on a low-back throne, inscribed with the standard epithets or descriptions of the deity. Holding a was-scepter, formed from the hieroglyph meaning “dominion,” he wears a special feathered garment over his usual mummiform costume – a feature found on a few other representations of Ptah from the reigns of Amenhotep III and Tutankhamun. This small masterpiece attests to the skill of the workers in ancient faience workshops.

Photo: Tom Jenkins.

 

Statue of Sekhmet, Thebes (Ramesseum), Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III (1390-1353 BCE), granodiorite

As a warlike and protective goddess, imagery of Sekhmet often accompanied the pharaoh into battle. With her fiery arrows, she could send plagues and other diseases against her (and Pharaoh’s) enemies. The Egyptians also invoked her to ward off or cure diseases. Some scholars believe that a plague during the reign of Amenhotep III may have prompted that king to erect numerous statues of this goddess as an appeal for divine help. This Sekhmet statue is one of the less-common standing types.

Photo: Tom Jenkins.

 

Statue of Meryma’at, Thebes, Dra Abu el-Naga, late Dynasty 18 or early Dynasty 19 (1332-1279 BCE), limestone

Meryma’at was a barber in the cult of Amun. The inscription on his kilt is a prayer to that god requesting offerings of food and drink and a happy life for his ka, or life force. Barbers had an important function in the temple, since priests had to shave their entire bodies before performing rites. Originally a pair statue, the figure of his wife has broken away. Her hand can be seen on his shoulder. The hieroglyphs on his chest read “Amun”. The fleshy form of his body reflects the Amarna style, influences of which remained even after the period ended.

Photo: Tom Jenkins.

 

Comb, Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), wood

Egyptians carved double-sided combs much like modern examples with thick teeth on one side and fine teeth along the other. Ancient hairstyles, especially those of women, were often quite elaborate. Combs like this would have been used for both natural hair and for wigs which were worn by both men and women.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Molds, Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), ceramic

Excavators found a huge volume of faience and glass items, including decorative elements like inlays for royal buildings in Akhenaten's new royal city. This industrial activity helped support Amarna’s economy. Thousands of faience molds, such as the ones pictured here, attest to the massive output of small objects in that material. Some may also have been exported and traded throughout Egypt. The popularity of faience and glass at the time may rest in part on their shiny, glittering, and dazzling surfaces, perhaps understood as reflecting elements of the Aten.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.