Block-statue of Ptahankh

Date: 1390–1352 B.C.
Medium: quartzite
Dimensions: 32 × 32 cm
Type: sculpture
Inventory number: 51.2164
Collection: Egyptian Art

Block statues had become one of the most favoured types of private statues in the Middle Kingdom (20th-18th century B.C.) and remained as such in the New Kingdom. The block-like figure squatting with his legs pulled up and wrapped in his robe expresses the endurance of officials as well as their obedience and readiness to help their superiors. Beyond the specific semantic level there is a theological dimension to block statues: the cuboid form refers to the mythic primeval hill from which the head of the man who had the statue erected emerges, as if recreating the primeval moment of original creation and at the same time his own rebirth.

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