Ring Inscribed with the Throne Name of Amenhotep III
reign of Amenhotep III
ca. 1390–1352 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Malqata, Palace of Amenhotep III, MMA excavations, 1910–11
L. 2.2 cm (7/8 in); w. 1.2 cm (1/2 in)
Rogers Fund, 1911
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 120
Inscribed on this ring is the throne name of pharaoh Amenhotep III "Nebmaatre" that can be translated as "(The god) Re is the lord of truth," written here with three hieroglyphs. A sun disk for the name of the sun god Re is at the top. In the center is a large depiction of the goddess Maat that is used as a hieroglyph for the concept of truth, as she embodied the principle of world order, truth, and justice. She is depicted squatting and with the sign of life (ankh) on her knees. The ostrich plume that signifies her name is on her head. Other writings for this royal name use the Maat feather alone, but the small figure of the goddess herself might express a more direct and intimate relationship between the king and this goddess. At the very bottom of the bezel is a rounded sign that reads "neb" meaning "lord." Every Egyptian king had five names and four of them, including the throne name that is used here, were chosen when a king ascended the throne. Therefore they often bear a political message that describes the ruler’s program. In this case Amenhotep III associated himself with the sun god as well as with truth and justice.
Museum excavations, 1910–11. Acquired by the Museum in the Division of Finds, 1911.