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Block-statue of Ptahankh

Date 1390–1352 B.C.
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique quartzite
Dimensions

32 × 32 cm

Inventory number 51.2164
Collection Egyptian Art
On view This artwork can be displayed at the permanent exhibition

This type of statue representing the individual squatting on the ground and enveloped in a long cloak is called a block-statue owing to its characteristic cuboid shape. The earliest specimens date back to the Middle Kingdom, yet by the time of the New Kingdom, when this particular statue was produced, it had become one of the most popular types of non-royal sculpture. The owner of this block-statue is depicted with a long, striped wig that leaves the ears partly visible. The eight lines of hieroglyphic text, carved on the front side of the cloak, revealing that the owner was a certain Ptahankh who held the titles “head of the singers of the temple of Ptah, butler of Ptahmes, the great chief of craftsmen”. A further passage, in which Ptahankh asks the priests and scribes of the temple to recite for him the offering formula, tells more about the function of block-statues: they were generally placed in the temple forecourt as votive objects to invite the owner to partake in the offerings presented to the gods.

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