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Block statue of Djed Khonsu Iou.ef Ankh

Block statue of Djed Khonsu Iou.ef Ankh
© BA Antiquities Museum/E. Omar

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Ancient Egyptian Antiquities

Block statue of Djed Khonsu Iou.ef Ankh

Category:
Sculpture in the round, statues, human / gods and goddesses statues, block (cube) statues
Date:
4th to 3rd cent. BCE
Provenance:
Upper Egypt, Luxor (Thebes), East Bank, Karnak temple
Material(s):
Non-organic material, mineral, siltstone (schist)
Height:
44 cm;
Width:
16.5 cm;
Depth:
21.5 cm
Hall:
Ancient Egyptian Antiquities


Description

Block statue of a priest called Djed Khunsu Iou.ef Ankh seated in a squatting position ‎and holding in his hands symbols of power and wealth. Six lines in relief cover the statue with ‎the names and titles of the owner and his ancestors and prayers to the gods, and the back of ‎the statue is also covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions. The priest wears a wig and appears ‎serene. The base of the statue is covered with inscription offerings to the god Amun-Ra. The ‎statue was discovered in the Karnak Cache.‎

The Block Statue

 The first examples of block statues date back to the Middle Kingdom. They continued ‎to exist until the Late Egyptian Period. The massive form of the statues protected them from ‎breakage. In addition, it offered a large surface for inscriptions. Some of these statues have ‎simple offering verses or record an idealized version of the person portrayed, emphasizing his ‎greatest virtues. Placing a similar statue of oneself within the temple was naturally a privilege reserved‎ above all to those who performed some service directly for the god, namely priests.‎

 The inscriptions on some of these statues indicate that reading the hieroglyphic text ‎incised on the statue acted as a form of prayer for the deceased person represented. The pilgrim‎ capable of reading would have performed a charitable act simply by pausing in front ‎of the statue and pronouncing what is written. By invoking the name of the figure, his ‎memory was thus perpetuated in the realm of gods, allowing him to make conceptual use of ‎any offerings, which were his nourishment in the eternal afterlife.‎


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

References
  • Mohamed Abdelraheim, “Ein Spätzeitwürfelhocker aus dem Ägyptischen Museum in Kairo (JE 38011)”, Göttinger Miszellen: Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion 92 (2003): 16, no. 5(a).
  • Michel Azim, Georges Albert Legrain and Gérard Réveillac, Karnak dans l’objectif de Georges Legrain, vol. 1, CRA-Monographies (Paris: CNRS, 2004): 322.
  • Michel Azim, Georges Albert Legrain and Gérard Réveillac, Karnak dans l’objectif de Georges Legrain, vol. 2, CRA-Monographies (Paris: CNRS, 2004): 265.
  • Jean-Pierre Corteggiani, L'Egypte des Pharaons au Musée du Caire, illustrated by Jean-François Gout (Paris: Hachette, 1986).
  • Zahi Hawass, ed., Bibliotheca Alexandrina: The Archaeology Museum (Cairo: The Supreme Council of Antiquities, 2002): 24, 26.
  • Georges Legrain, “Le logement et transport des barques sacrées et des statues des dieux dans quelques temples égyptiens”, Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale (BIFAO) 13 (1913): 23.
  • David Klotz, “The Theban Cult of Chonsu the Child in the Ptolemaic Period”, in Documents de théologies thébaines tardives (D3T 1), edited by Christophe Thiers, Cahiers de l’Égypte Nilotique et Méditerranéenne (CENiM) 3 (Montpelier: CNRS, 2009): 125-126, 128.
  • Katja Lembke and Günter Vittmann, "Die Ptolemäische Und Römische Skulptur Im Ägyptischen Museum Berlin. Teil I: Privatplastik", Jahrbuch Der Berliner Museen 42 (2000): 31.
  • Georges Posener, Serge Sauneron and Jean Yoyotte, “Block Statue”, in Dictionary of Egyptian Civilization, translated by Alix Macfarlane (London: Methuen, 1962).
  • Mona Serry, ed., Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Antiquities Museum, introduction by Ismail Serageldin (Alexandria: Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Antiquities Museum, 2015): 30-31, 312, 357.
  • Karl Jansen-Winkeln, Biographische und religiöse Inschriften der Spätzeit aus dem Ägyptischen Museum Kairo, Ägypten und Altes Testament 45 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001).
  • Karl Jansen-Winkeln, Biographische und religiöse Inschriften der Spätzeit aus dem Ägyptischen Museum Kairo, vol. 1, ÄAT 45 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2001): 215-223, 420-421, no. 34, pl. 72-73.
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