Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Jubilee Relief of Ramesses II

New Kingdom, Ramesside
Dynasty 19
reign of Ramesses II
ca. 1279–1213 B.C.
From Egypt, Fayum Entrance Area, Herakleopolis (Ihnasya el-Medina), Temple of Ramesses II, EEF excavations 1903-1904
H. 109.2 (43 in); w. 109.2 cm (43 in.)
Credit Line:
Gift of Egypt Exploration Fund, 1905
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 123
This deeply carved relief of Ramesses II shows the king wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt and seated within a shrine, the roof of which is decorated with uraei. It was part of a scene showing the king celebrating one of the sed festivals, or jubilees, of his long reign. Ramesses II, known as Ramesses the Great, ruled for sixty-six years and had an enormous impact both in Egypt and abroad. In his military campaigns, he confronted the expanding empire of the Hittites and eventually secured a treaty with them and married two Hittite princesses. He extended his rule far into Nubia, as the building of his huge rock-cut temple at Abu Simbel testifies. He built monuments as far north as Byblos in modern-day Lebanon and as far south as Jebel Barkal in the Sudan. He established a new capital at Piramesse in the eastern Delta.

This relief was found by Flinders Petrie in a temple that Ramesses II built at Heracleopolis, in the northern part of Egypt near the Faiyum and dedicated to the local god Harsaphes.
Excavated by Petrie at Herakleopolis under the auspices of the Egypt Exploration Fund. Acquired by Petrie and the EEF in the division of finds. Given by the EEF to the Museum for its contribution to the excavations, 1905.

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