In 2015 when we visited New York we timed our trip to coincide with an exhibition on at the Met called “Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom”. This examined how the Egyptians re-imagined their cultural constructs in this period, as reflected in the changes in their art.

One of the things that stuck with me most from the exhibition was the idea that although we generally think of the Middle Kingdom as split into three (11th, 12th & 13th dynasties) if you look at the art it splits into two at the reign of Senwosret III in Dynasty 12.

This photo I’ve picked out illustrates the new more mature & careworn appearance of Senwosret II’s statuary, rather than the idealised youthful face of his predecessors. Reflecting, presumably, a shift in the underlying ideas of what a king should be.

I took a few photos in the exhibition which I’ve just finished moving to my photo site, and you can see them here:

Senwosret III as a Sphinx. From Thebes (probably from Karnak). Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 12, reign of Senwosret III, c. 1878-1840 BCE. Acc. No.: Met Museum 17.9.2

This photo is here: and you can compare it to Senwosret I here:

I’ve written about Senwosret III on the blog before:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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