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Scenes from a King's Thirty-Year Jubilee

Period:
Old Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 4
Reign:
reign of Snefru, probably
Date:
ca. 2575–2551 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, Pyramid Complex of Amenemhat I, North of pyramid (09.180.180; core (22.1.1), MMA 1908–1909; 1920–1922
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
h. 73.7 cm (29 in); w. 149.9 cm (59 in); d. 12.9 cm (5 1/16 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1909 (09.180.18); Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1922 (22.1.1)
Accession Number:
09.180.18
  • Description

    After thirty years on the throne, the pharaoh celebrated a jubilee intended magically to rejuvenate the divine yet vulnerable monarch. This fragmentary relief, which formed part of a series of scenes depicting these complex and enigmatic rituals, was intended for a royal cult structure at a pyramid. In the main preserved register, the goddess Meret chants "Come and bring" to the pharaoh, whose large running figure would have been depicted beyond the broken left edge of the block. The standard-bearer who preceded him remains, and courtiers with their titles inscribed above complete the scene.
    Like most of the royal Old Kingdom royal reliefs in this collection, this block was excavated at a Middle Kingdom pyramid site where it had been reused in the inner structure. Such blocks can be assigned to the Old Kingdom by their inscriptions or style. Although no royal name identifies the pharaoh here, the straight edges contouring the relief elements and the height of the carving suggest that the work dates from the reign of Snefru.

  • Provenance

    Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Ar at the pyramid of Amenemhat I at Lishtt, 1908-1909 (09.180.18) and 1920-22 (22.1.1). Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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