Fragment of a wall relief showing the head and shoulders of a bearded man, facing left, wearing a shoulder-length wig and a "broad collar" necklace.
In ancient Egypt, brightly painted relief sculpture decorated temple and tomb walls as well as upright monuments known as stelae. One fragment from a tomb wall—now lacking its original polychromy—shows an Old Kingdom nobleman with the eternally youthful features favored in much Egyptian art. The stela of Sebek-hotep, made more than 800 years later at the end of the Middle Kingdom, honors a man of relatively low rank who is shown at his funerary banquet with a female relative. Above, a prayer requests food offerings for his use in the afterlife. The likeness of King Amenhotep I and a cartouche with his name appear on a stela fragment that dates not to his reign (ca. 1551–1524 BCE), but to later in the New Kingdom, when the deceased ruler was worshipped as a patron by craftsmen at the Theban royal tombs. The adjoining fragment with the rest of the king’s body and the figure of his mother, Queen Ahmose-Nefertari, is now in the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy.
ancient; archaeology; heads; sculpture; deaths; tombs; male; men
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