General Horemheb & Wife


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.

Remove Ads


Image License

Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Read the licensing terms for more information on how to use this image legally.

Commercial Use

The photographer is selling a commercial use license for this image:


If you are not sure whether your project is commercial then please contact the editors by email () for clarification.

Commercial Licensing Terms

By purchasing this image you agree to the following terms and conditions:

You may use this photograph in a commercial digital or print publication, including but not limited to:

  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Books
  • Websites
  • Presentations
There are no limitations on print runs or website impressions.

Upon purchasing this image, you may not re-sell this image, including but not limited to digital downloads or printed items where the image is the dominant content (such as postcards, for example).