Throne name of Senwosret I - ROM2018_16243_4


Throne name of Senwosret I

Geography: Lisht, Egypt
Date: c. 1965-1920 BC
Period: Reign of Senwosret I, 12th Dynasty, Middle Kingdom
72.3 × 42.7 × 7.3 cm
Object number: 958.49.5
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This fragment was excavated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art at the pyramid complex of King Senwosret I of the Twelfth Dynasty. The carving was carefully and beautifully executed by master craftsmen.

The fragment shows part of the king's title and throne name.  Most Egyptian kings had five official names; the two best known are the birth name (in this case, Senwosret) and the throne name, which here is Kheper-ka-re.

Toward the top of the piece can be seen a finely carved image of a bee.  This bee represented North Egypt, and formed part of the n-sw-bity name of the king.  Immediately under it, the disk of the sun, Re, can be seen.  The next sign is the scarab beetle, pronounced Kheper. Below that, and at what would be the bottom of the cartouche, were the upraised arms of the ka sign. This name, Kheperkare, was the one by which most of the king's subjects would have known him.

To the left of the cartouche a triangular hieroglyph was the sign for 'given' and beside it the well-known ankh which meant 'life.'  Under these two signs are a djed pillar and a was sceptre which respectively represent stability and power. Beneath these signs can be seen part of a basket, the sign neb, which meant 'all.'  Thus there was a blessing for the king carved beside his name, wishing him 'the gift of all life, stability and power."

To the right of the king's cartouche can be seen part of the rectangular serekh which would have held the first of his five names, his Horus Name, Ankh-mesut.

Senwosret I was one of the most powerful of ancient Egyptian kings.  He was remembered long after his death for his conquests, and also for his part in the well-known Ancient Egyptian fictional story of Sinuhe.

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