Pictures

Two Osiride Figures of Tutankhamun

By Jacqueline Engel

These two figures discovered among eleven similar figures buried beneath the floor of a courtyard at Karnak.

Each represents an Amarna period king in a nemes head cloth and kilt, holding the crook and flail crossed on his chest.

These statues illustrate an important moment in Egyptian history: After Akhenaten’s death, Tutankhamon, most likely with the encouragement of his advisors Ay and Herembeb, turned the country back to the worship of Amun.

As part of his building program at Karnak, Akhenaten had erected a series of human-headed sphinxes in his own and his great queen Nefertiti’s likeness along the processional way from the Amin Precinct to the adjoining Mut Precinct.

When he came back to Thebes, Tutankhamun had the head of each sphinx re-carved as a ram, the sacred animal of Amon.

These figures stoud beneath the chins of these criosphinxes, showing the king under the protection of the god.

Quartzite or sandstone,

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty,

Reign of Tutankhamun,

Karnak Cachet CC 2107-10

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