General Horemheb & Wife

Illustration

by
published on 18 July 2016

This limestone sculpture was never quite finished and received no inscription. When the British Museum brought it in 1839 CE, its provenance was unknown, so the couple's identity has long remained a mystery. However, in 1976 CE a missing fragment of their entwined hands was discovered at Saqqara (ancient Memphis) in the tomb complex of General Horemheb. The statue thus represents the commander-in-chief and presumably his first wife, Amenia. The fragment remains in Egypt but the exhibit incorporates a cast. The pleated garments, elaborate wigs, and the Horemheb's sandals all signal high status and contemporary fashion. Horemheb commanded Egypt's armed forces under Tutankhamun and acted as the boy king's regent. Tutankhamun died young without a heir. The throne passed briefly to Ay, a much older relative, and then to Horemheb, despite his non-royal descent. He was never buried in his tomb at Saqqara, where the statue had been intended as a focus for his mortuary cult. Following tradition, Horemheb now began preparing a royal tomb at Thebes, in the Valley of the Kings. 18th Dynasty, probably reign of Ay, circa 1327-1323 BCE. From the tomb of Horemheb at Saqqara, Egypt. (The British Museum, London).


About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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