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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:
Early Ptolemaic Period
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.

Bibliography
  • "Block statue". In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Edited by Donald B. Redford. Vol. III. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • "Block statue". In Dictionary of Egyptian civilization. By Posener, Georges, Serge Sauneron and Jean Yoyotte. Translated from the French by Alix Macfarlane. London: Methuen, 1962.
  • Corteggiani, Jean Pierre. L'Egypte des Pharaons au Musée du Caire. Paris: Hachette, Les Livres de France, 1986.
  • Jansen-Winkeln, Karl. Biographische und religiöse Inschriften der Spätzeit aus dem Ägyptischen Museum Kairo. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2001.
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