Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Relief fragment from the depiction of a battle

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
possibly reign of Amenhotep II
ca. 1427–1400 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Asasif, Temple of Ramesses IV, foundation (reused), MMA excavations, 1912–13
Painted sandstone
h. 27 cm (10 5/8 in); w. 123.5 cm (48 5/8 in); d. 82 cm (32 5/16 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 119
Builders reused one complete block (13.181.21) and this part of another, originally belonging to a large depciton of a battle, in the foundation of the mortuary temple of Ramesses IV, subsequently excavated by the Metropolitan Museum. In this part of a block western Asiatic enemies are seen clinging to one another. They may be paying homage to the victorious pharaoh.

When they were excavated, this and the larger block 13.181.21 also seen in the image were dated to the reign of Ramesses II. A recent study of their stylistic and iconographic features, however, has caused scholars to redate them earlier, probably the reign of Amenhotep II. The new date indicates that by the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty, monumental battle scenes had become part of the decorative scheme of temple walls.

The garment with long sleeves covering the upper part of a man's body is best understood as denoting rank.
Museum excavations, 1912-1913. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds.

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