Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Statue of Demedji and Hennutsen

Old Kingdom
Dynasty 5
reign of Neferirkare or earlier
ca. 2465–2438 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Memphite Region, Giza or Saqqara
Limestone, paint
H. 83 cm (32 11/16 in); w. 50.8 cm ( 20 in); d. 51 cm (20 1/16 in)
Height of Hennutsen 70 cm (27 9/16 in)

weight: 113.4–136.1 kg (250–300 lbs)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1951
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 103
This pair statue, showing a husband and wife, is typical of nonroyal statuary made during Dynasty 5 of the Old Kingdom. The bodies of both figures are well proportioned, though the woman's head is slightly offset to her right and her arms are unusually long. Typically, the faces are quite similar in spite of their different scales, but the features are well defined, giving each face an appealing expression. Special attention has been given to the coiffures, especially that of the woman.
Demedji was Overseer of the regions of foreign bowmen, and Overseer of the King's fortresses. Both titles imply a military function, perhaps in the deserts bordering the Nile delta. He was also Estate Manager of the King, and Overseer of the Herdsmen of Cattle. His wife, the royal acquaintance Hennutsen, was priestess of the goddesses Hathor and Neith. The statue was dedicated by their son, Ti, an Overseer of Marshes who may also be mentioned in the Abusir Papyri, suggesting that the statue was dedicated in early Dynasty 5.
Right side of chair and base:

jm.j-r'-pD.t* jm.j-r'-mnn.ww-nswt HqA-nswt xrp-nr.w-jH.w dmD

Overseer of (the regions of) foreign bowmen, and Overseer of the King's fortresses, (estate)-manager of the king, Director of herdsmen of cattle, Demedji

Left side of chair and base:

jn zA=f zAb-aD-mr wr-mD-Sma.w, Hr.j-sStA jm.j-r'-zS Ty

It is his son, Senior provincial administrator, Greatst of the tens of Upper Egypt, Privy to the Secrets, Oversser of the Marshes, Tjy, who made (it) for them

On base in front of wife:

Hm.t=f jr.jt-jx.t-nswt Hm(.t)-nTr-Hw.t-Hr.w Hm.t-nTr-nj.t
nb.t-jmAx xr nTr aA ra nb jr.jt-jx.t-nswt

His wife, the Custodian of the king's property, Priestess of Hathor, Priestess of Neith,
possessor of veneration before the great god every day, Custodian of the king's property,


* For a discussion on Demedji's titles, see Fischer 1993

Niv Allon 2017
Purchased for the Museum from Paul Mallon, of Paris, 1951.

Robins, Gay 2001. Egyptian Statues, Shire Egyptology, 26. Princes Risborough, p. 26, fig. 24.

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