Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Statue of Kaipunesut

Period:
Old Kingdom
Dynasty:
Dynasty 4
Reign:
reign of Radjedef or later
Date:
ca. 2528–2520 B.C. or later
Geography:
From Egypt, Memphite Region, Saqqara, Teti Pyramid Cemetery, Mastaba of Kaemheset
Medium:
Wood, paint
Dimensions:
59 1/16 in. (150 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1926
Accession Number:
26.2.7
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
Although archaeologists differ in their evaluation of the date of the tomb from which this statue originates, features of the decoration of the mastaba and of other stone statuary in the tomb indicate a possible date in mid-Dynasty 4 for this wooden statue and another in Cairo of Kaipunesut. The early date suits the semicircular eyes and elongated lips of the face.

Few wooden sculptures are preserved from the fourth dynasty. Kaipunesut's belt is finely inscribed with his name and titles, the first being "Royal Carpenter." Perhaps he was involved with making his own fine wooden statues.
Kaipunesut's name and titles are inscribed on his belt, leading in both directions:

1. mDH.w-qd.w-nswt kA(=j)-pw-nswt Hw.t-HD.t kA(=j)-pw-nswt

The royal carptenter and builder Kaipunesut, furbisher of the white crown* Kaipunesut.

2. mDH.w-qd.w-nswt kA(=j)-pw-nswt Hw.t-HD.t wr-jr.t-tA-wr (kA(=j)-pw-nswt**)

royal carptenter and builder Kaipunesut, furbisher of the white crown*, great in respect to what is done (in) the Thinite nome, (Kaipunesut).

Note:

*The title Hw.t-HD.t is very rare, appearing only for Kaipunesut and his brother Kaiemhesut. Its reading is uncertain, and scholars have suggested to translate it as "messanger," "maker, furbisher" or "domain."

** Though the name is written following the direction of the inscription, it can be taken to serve both inscriptions.

Niv Allon 2016
Excavated 1922 by Cecil Firth for the Egyptian Government. Purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the Egyptian Government, 1926.

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