Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Corner of niche from the tomb of Akhtihotep

Period:
Old Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 4
Reign:
reign of Snefru
Date:
ca. 2575–2551 B.C.
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Saqqara, Mastaba of Akhtihotep
Medium:
Limestone, paint
Dimensions:
H. 96.5 cm (38 in.)
Credit Line:
Funds from Various Donors, and by exchange, 1958
Accession Number:
58.123
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
These relief blocks forming a corner show Akhtihotep twice: on the left, he wears a panther-skin garment, the tail of which hangs down between his legs, and on the right, he wears a standard kilt. Placed to form one side and the front, respectively, of the frame of a double
recessed false door, the reliefs were so arranged that Akhtihotep appeared both emerging from the false-door niche (left) and entering it (right).

Other blocks from Akhtihotep's tomb (58.44.2a) depict offering bearers.
The blocks preserve the lower parts of two inscriptions, which enumerate Akhtihotep's titles:

(1) [zAb-aD-mr wr-mD-Sma.w Hr.j-sStA n nswt m Hw.t-wr.t n.t pr-nswt jm.j]-r'-jp.t-nswt

(2) [HqA-Hw.t-aA.t jr.j-x.t-pr-aA sHD-zA-wr-pr-aA xrp xnt.jt n.t mjtr] Hm-nTr-bAs.tjt [Hr.jt-xnt]

(3) [smk jA.t jwn-knm.wt Hm kA xnt.j xnd Hm-nTr Xnm.w Ax.t]-Htp

(1) [The senior provincial administrator, greatest of the tens of Upper Egypt, privy to the secret(s) of the king in the great court of the palace, over]seer of the royal (private) chamber

(2) [manager of the great estate, custodian of the palace property, inspector of the great phyle of the palace, director of the miter-servants*], priest of Bastet [who is upon the throne]

(3) [priest of Iat, support of the kenmut (people of the leopard skin?), ka-priest who is before the throne, priest of Khnum, Akhti]hotep

(4) [zAb-aD-mr wr-mD-Sma.w Hr.j-sStA n nswt m Hw.t-wr.t n.t pr-nswt] jm.j-r'-jp.t-nswt

(5) HqA-Hw.t-aA.t jr.j-x.t-pr-aA sHD-zA-wr-pr-aA xrp xnt.jt n.t mjtr smk-

(6) jA.t Hm-nTr-bAs.tjt Hr.jt-xnt Hm kA Ax.t-Htp

(4) [The senior provincial administrator, greatest of the tens of Upper Egypt, privy to the secret(s) of the king in the great court of the palace], overseer of the royal (private) chamber

(5) [manager of the great estate, custodian of the palace property, inspector of the great phyle of the palace, director of the miter-servants*], priest

(6) [of Iat, priest of Bastet who is upon the throne, ka-priest, Akhti]hotep

* mjtr- an obscure title which probably indicates a class of servants in the palace. At least five other officials are known to be in charge of miter-workmen, all from the region of Memphis. The title fell out of use by the end of the Fourth Dynasty. The female version of this title persisted until the end of the Old Kingdom, see K. Daoud, "The False Door of the Family of Skr-Htp." In: SAK 23 (1996): 88-96.

Niv Allon 2016
Purchased from Ernst E. Kofler, Lucerne, Switzerland, 1958.

Mariette, Auguste 1889. Les Mastabas de l'Ancien Empire: Fragment [de son] Dernier Ouvrage. Paris: F. Vieweg, p. 57, 69-70; no. A1.

Scott, Nora E. 1961. "Two Reliefs of the Early Old Kingdom." In Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, new series, vol. 19 (March), pp. 194–7.

Russmann, Edna R. 1983. Egyptian Art. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 6, no. 4.

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