Block Statue of Ankhwennefer

This type of statue is called a “block statue” and is first seen in the Middle Kingdom but then used throughout the rest of ancient Egyptian history. You should imagine the man sitting on the ground with his knees up in front of him hugged by his arms & a tight cloak round him.

The long inscription on the front tells us who he is (Ankhwennefer), who his son is (Peftjauabastet), and that he’d like anyone who comes into the sanctuary of Bastet at Tell al-Muqdam to make offerings for him. He and his son are both priests, royal acquaintances and scribes.

Even though it’s not known where this was found I imagine it was likely to’ve been set up in the sanctuary it names – somewhere prominent where it would catch the eye of a literate person walking past who would read the inscription and make the offerings requested.

Block Statue of Ankhwennefer. Provenance unknown. Late Period, late Dynasty 25-early Dynasty 26, c.690-650 BCE. Acc. No.: 1993.161

It dates to the Late Period, and is now in the Met Museum (acc. no.: 1993.161).

See it on my photo site: https://photos.talesfromthetwolands.org/picture.php?/1465/ and go one to the right for a close up of the top of the inscription.

Jigsaw Puzzles:
easier: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=3990707b5742
harder: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=29c62de1e18c

Jar Lid in Shape of a Human Head

This little head roughly 10cm in each dimension is flat on its underside. That means that it was probably a jar lid, likely for a canopic jar. Sadly it is one of the many ancient Egyptian objects which has no information on where it was found so we can’t know for sure what it is.

The Brooklyn Museum (where it now is, acc. no.: 87.78) dates it to the middle of the 12th Dynasty (c. 1850 BCE) on stylistic grounds – mostly based on the shape of the face and facial features. The museum also references the air of serenity that it has as a diagnostic feature.

Jar Lid in the Shape of a Human Head. Probably from a canopic jar. Provenance unknown. Middle Kingdom, mid-Dynasty 12, reign of Amenemhat II or Senwosret II, c. 1876-1837 BCE. Acc. No.: 87.78

See it on my photo site: https://photos.talesfromthetwolands.org/picture.php?/306/

Jigsaw puzzles:
easier: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=22115796f801
harder: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=0275de5ff345

Plaster Head of a King or Deity

This rather haunting face with an enigmatic smile dates to the 4th Century BCE and belongs to a genre of sculptural works that was popular in the Late Period. It’s made of plaster and would once have had inlaid eyes and been painted (there are traces of paint remaining on it).

Plaster Head of a King or Deity. Provenance unknown. Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, c. 4th Century BCE. Acc. No.: 82.22

It’s not entirely clear what the function of pieces like this was. They’re pretty small (this one is big at 23cm tall), and are rarely of a full figure. Some, although not this one, have grid lines and depth guides still visible on their surface.

The Brooklyn Museum offers two hypotheses on their label for the case this was in: they might be sculptors’ trial pieces, or they might be temple offerings. From what they say about the flaws in each theory I’m more convinced by the idea that they are trial pieces.

It’s not known where it was found, but it’s now in the Brooklyn Museum (acc. no.: 82.22).

See it on my photo site: https://photos.talesfromthetwolands.org/picture.php?/45/

Jigsaw puzzles:
easier: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=12ec0f2f6c75
harder: https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=2d5478891f48


I’ve been posting short pieces like this on my social media accounts for a while, and I’ve decided to experiment with putting them on the main blog too!