Relief fragments from procession of attendants

Middle Kingdom
Dynasty 11
reign of Mentuhotep II, early
ca. 2051–2030 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb of Neferu (TT 319, MMA 31), MMA 1930–1931
Limestone, paint
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1931
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Neferu was most likely the first queen and perhaps also sister of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II. Her plundered tomb, excavated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art between 1923 and 1931, lay outside the king's temple precinct at Deir el Bahri. It was visited as a shrine in the Eighteenth Dynasty, and at some point it was used as a quarry for the fine limestone covering the walls.

    The carving of Neferu’s surviving reliefs is varied in quality, with the finest example being a succession of female bearers (see 26.3.353g). The extenuated proportions of the figures, and the elaborate patterns contrasting with smooth planes, represent the height of the Eleventh Dynasty archaic style. The background was left unpainted, while the figures were either detailed or covered with orange, pink, purple, blue, green, white or black paint.

    This group of relief fragments is in raised relief, which predominated on the walls of the long passage leading from the entrance toward the inner chamber. The figures of attendants preserved in here approached representations of the queen from right and left, some carrying sun shades.

    For other reliefs from the tomb of Neferu, see 31.3.1 and 26.3.353*.

  • Provenance

    Museum excavations, 1930-1931. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History