Meritamun was one of the daughters of Ramesses II and this partial statue was found in her father’s mortuary temple, the Ramesseum. The thing that makes her significant amongst his many daughters is that after the death of Nefertari she took on the role of King’s Great Wife.

She’s a well protected Queen – not just two uraeus serpents on her forehead, but a whole collection encircling the base of her headdress. This headdress would once have had a sun disk on top with two large plumes.

The colour has lasted well, you can see the wig would once have been blue for instance and the pink that her lips are picked out in is still present. It has a delicate beauty as it survives now, but would once have been almost garishly bright – a reminder that that tastes change!

Statue of Queen Meritamun. From the Temple of Meritamun, Ramasseum, Thebes. New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, reign of Ramesses II, c. 1279-1212 BCE. Acc. No.: JE31413 CG600

It’s now in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, Cairo – or at least it was in 2016. Acc. No.: JE31413/CG600

See it on my photo site: and go left for a side-on view.

Jigsaw puzzles:

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