Head of King Nectanebo I or II

Illustration

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
by
published on 18 July 2016

This head was part of a statue which was placed in a temple. No inscription survives to identify the king, but stylistic details point to Nectanebo I or II, the principal kings of Egypt's last native Dynasty. The king's nose and protective cobra on his forehead was destroyed to curse him. Perhaps this vengeful act occurred when Egypt, after 60 years of independence, was reconquered by Persians (31st Dynasty). A new nose and cobra were later fitted in prepared slots. This may have happened soon after Alexander the Great had conquered the Persian Empire, under the early Ptolemies. To bolster their title to Egypt's throne, they restored, renewed, and imitated the monuments of the their predecessors. Originally the wings of the head-cloth displayed the usual horizontal pleats, but these were rubbed down, presumably when the statue was repaired. Many of the Ptolemies' own statues have stripeless head-clothes. 30th Dynasty, 380-343 BCE. Collected by Charles Townley, probably in Rome; origin in Egypt unknown. (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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