Statue and block statue of the Mayor of Thebes, Montuemhat

By Jacqueline Engel

26TH DYNASTY (664–525 BC)
The Egyptian Museum Cairo

This statue portrays the nobleman Montuemhat, who played an important role in the clergy of Amun-Re at Karnak and in the administration of Thebes.

It shows him as a middle-aged man in the usual striding pose. Although the body was rendered in the traditional artistic style, well built and proportioned, his wrinkled facial features reveal his advanced age.

His head is covered with a heavy wavy wig that falls upon the shoulders. He wears the pleated Shendyt kilt, fastened with a belt on which his name and titles are engraved. This kind of kilt and engraved belt were mostly reserved for royal personalities before the Late Period.

The statue stands on a base inscribed with the offering formula and the name and titles of Montuemhat.

Block Statue of Montuemhat

This masterpiece, a life-size block statue of Montuemhat, the Fourth Prophet of Amun and Mayor of Thebes, was found broken into two parts.

Block statues provided surface areas on which text was inscribed, and the text on this statue lists Montuemhat’s titles.

Egyptian Museum Cairo


Disc from the Tomb of Hemaka.

By Jacqueline Engel

1st Dynasty (2920-2770 BC) Reign of Den.

Soap stone (black Steatite)
inlaid with pink-veined alabaster.
Hunting scene.
Cairo Antiquities Museum
Black Steatite
Diameter 8.7 CM; Thickness 0.7 CM
Saqqara, Tomb of Hemaka

Hemaka was an important official during the long reign of the First Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Den.
Radiocarbon dating research undertaken during the 1950s suggested a date for Hemaka lifetime ca. 3100 BC.
One of Hemaka’s titles was that of “seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt”, effectively making him chancellor and second in power only to the king.


Sarcophagus of Dwarf Djeho

By Jacqueline Engel

The Granite Sarcophagus of Dwarf Djeho.

30th Dynasty. Saqqara, Egypt.

Egyptian Museum Caïro.

Djeho shared a tomb with his master Tjaiharpta, which indicates the favored position he had with his patron.

Djeho is depicted naked in profile, possibly life-sized (4 ft or 120 cm).

It was found by Quibell in 1911.

On the sarcophagus’ lid, the biography tells us that Djeho was a dancer in burial ceremonies connected to the Apis and Memphis bulls.


Inner and outer coffin of Queen Ahmose-Meritatum

By Jacqueline Engel

Egyptian Museum Caïro

Ahmose-Meritamun (or Ahmose-Meritamon) was a Queen of Egypt during the early Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt.

She was both the sister and the wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep I.

She died fairly young and was buried in tomb TT358 in Deir el-Bahari.

Ahmose-Meritamun was the royal daughter of Ahmose I and Ahmose Nefertari, and became the Great Royal Wife of her brother Amenhotep I, pharaoh of Ancient Egypt in the eighteenth dynasty.

Meritamun took over the role of God’s Wife of Amun from her mother Ahmose Nefertari.

Other titles recorded for Meritamun include:

  • lady of the two lands (nbt-t3wy),
  • (Great) King’s Wife (hmt-niswt(-wrt)),
  • mistress of the entire two lands (hnwt-t3wy-tm),
  • god’s wife (hmt-ntr), united with the white crown (khnmt-nfr-hdjt),
  • king’s daughter (s3t-niswt), and king’s sister (snt-niswt).

The title king’s mother (mwt-niswt) is also recorded in later sources, even though she was never the mother of a king.


Outer coffin of Sepi III

By Jacqueline Engel

Deir el -Bersha, Tomb of Sepi III.
12th Dyn – Egyptian Museum Caïro

This is one of the most magnificent inscribed and painted sarcophagi from the Middle Kingdom.
It is made for the General Sepi of the fifteenth nome of Upper Egypt.

Detail of the inside head panel of the rectangular outer coffin of general Sepi, Spells concerning the mythical roads of Mehen, nine elliptical roads which the deceased had to go through to approach the god Osiris, who is unusually seen facing the viewer. Egypt. Ancient Egyptian. Middle Kingdom,12th Dynasty c 1900BC. Bersha, Khemenu cemetery.
Picture by El Gamelyan

The exterior sides of the wooden sarcophagus are decorated with painted hieroglyphs depicting the names, titles, and offering formula.

Two Udjat eyes are located at the top of the false door that is depicted on the side, to which the mask of the anthropoid coffin is turned.

The interior decoration is entirely painted and contains a series of spells in cursive hieroglyphs taken from the Coffin Texts and from the Book of the Two Ways that contained a map of the underworld.