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Relief of Akhethotep

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

This relief depicts Akhty-hotep, an Old Kingdom official, in a simple wrapped kilt and a short, curly wig. The tall walking stick and paddlelike baton indicate his official status. Akhty-hotep's name appears in hieroglyphs in front of his face and also, partially preserved, above him to the left. Egyptians believed that, in addition to tomb statues, images like this one could house the dead owner's spirit. The high, bold carving typifies relief of the early Old Kingdom.

MEDIUM Limestone
  • Place Excavated: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2650-2600 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late III Dynasty-early IV Dynasty
    PERIOD Early Old Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 36 1/8 x 23 11/16 in. (91.8 x 60.2 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 57.178
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Relief of Akhethotep, ca. 2650-2600 B.C.E. Limestone, 36 1/8 x 23 11/16 in. (91.8 x 60.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 57.178. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 57.178_negB_bw_IMLS.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone relief of the royal official Akhet-hotep. In high relief, Akhet-hotep, standing facing right, supporting plain staff in left hand, and sekhem-scepter in right. Curled wig, plain skirt. Above the representation, remains of three columns of titles in very bold hieroglyphs; name of owner in raised relief in front of face. Condition: Relief is assembled from separate blocks. These blocks have been cut to maximum thickness of about 4.2 cm. Sections lost from left edge (center and base) and from lower right edges. Cracked in various sections with minor breaks along cracks. Remains of green paint around eye. Lips chipped. Relief is in fragile condition and crossed with cracks. As both long sides of the relief show traces of walls at right angles to the main face of this relief, it must have come from the left side, or inlet, of a false door or similar in the tomb.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (90%)
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