Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Scenes from a King's Thirty-Year Jubilee

Old Kingdom
Dynasty 4
reign of Snefru, probably
ca. 2575–2551 B.C.
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Lisht North, Pyramid Complex of Amenemhat I, North of pyramid (09.180.180; core (22.1.1), MMA excavations, 1908–09; 1920–22
Limestone, paint
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:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
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.
From left to right:
Behind the standing figure: Hm-[bA.w-nxn] - Servant of the Bas of Hierakonpolis
Above kneeling figure: smr - Sole Companion
In front of the goddess: Dd mdw jy jn jy jn - Words Spoken:"Come! Bring! Come! Bring!"
Behind the Goddess: mr.t-a-Sma.w Meret of the Region of Upper Egypt
Above the first figure behind the goddess: [Xr.j]-H(A)b - Lector Priest
Above the second: smA - Stolist
Above the third: jm.j-jz - Councillor
Above the three final figures - xrp-aH, Director of the Palace
For further discussion, see Goedicke 1971 in bibliography.
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Ar at the pyramid of Amenemhat I at Lisht, 1908-1909 (09.180.18) and 1920-22 (22.1.1). Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

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