Statue of Old Kingdom official, Senankhwer - ROM2018_16271_34


Statue of Old Kingdom official, Senankhwer

Medium:Limestone, painted
Geography: Excavated at Giza, Egypt
Date: c. 2345-2181 BC
Period: 6th Dynasty, Old Kingdom
35.5 x 30.7 x 15.2 cm
Object number: 949.42
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Statue of a seated male official discovered in 1940 in the serdab of Giza mastaba G.2475 on the northern edge of the western cemetery of Giza. The serdab is a small concelaed chamber in the tomb made to contain a statue of the deceased which was meant to contain the ka-spirit of the deceased who would receive the food offerings left at the tomb to nourish the deceased in the afterlife. The statue is not a portrait in the modern sense of the term, as it represents an idealized image of the deceased as a high-ranking official. The red-painted hieroglyphs incised on the top of the plinth identify the specific individual as the "Superintendent of the royal estate, the flute-player and royal acquaintance Sen-ankh-wer."

The statue's right hand was broken off and has been reattached, but part of the fist is missing.  Otherwise the statue is in good condition with some paint worn and a few minor chips missing. Sen-ank-wer is depicted wearing a full wig parted in the middle with carved straight hair flaring out to the top of the shoulders. The hair is painted black. The bottom of the ears projects out below the wig. The oval face has carved features with slightly bulging eyes and a flat nose. The eyebrows and pupils have been painted in black.The face was painted red-brown and there is a clear line around the neck which indicates that a broad collar may have been painted on the figure originally (but no trace remains). Traces of red-brown paint remain on the upper body.  The figure sits with his right hand clenched in a fist and his left hand flat palm downward on the top of his knee. The empty space between his arms and chest has not been carved out, but is painted black.  He wears a white kilt, which has pleats on his right side and is plain on his left.  His two feet rest flat on the plinth. The legs and ankles are rather thick. All ten toenails on the feet have been indicated. The top of the plinth and the front and top of the seat are painted black. The front and sides of the plinth and the entire back of the plain rectangular seat are painted yellow. (S.B. Shubert)

Object History: Excavated by the Boston Expedition to Egypt, 1940
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