Relief Fragment with Parts of Heads of Prisoners

Middle Kingdom

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 104

The mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri combined innovative building ideas with a relief decoration that was largely based on prototypes from the Old Kingdom pyramid temples in the Memphite area. Utterly destroyed by stone robbers in antiquity, the decoration is only preserved in thousands of fragments. This fragment comes from a scene in which the king was shown raising a mace in his right hand to smite a group of enemies whom he holds by the hair in his left hand. The faces of two dark skinned enemies (Nubians?) alternate with two of yellowish orange skin color (Libyans or Asians?).

Relief Fragment with Parts of Heads of Prisoners, Limestone, paint

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