Block Statue of Senenmut and Neferure

This block statue or cube statue shows Senenmut with the features of a young man: full cheeks in a smooth round face, wide-open eyes with long lashes executed in relief, large ears, and a small, straight, full mouth. As Senenmut was her tutor, the princess’ head emerges from his mantle.

An indication of her position as heiress to the throne, the child wears her hair in the pleated tress characteristic of royal children, ornamented with the uraeus. Her name, inscribed within a cartouche next to her head, is preceded by the title “god’s wife,” most probably Amun-Re.

Block Statue of Senenmut and Neferure
Block Statue of Senenmut and Neferure

The sides of the statue were ideal for placing a long inscription enumerating Senenmut’s numerous titles and functions in connection with the place and with the cult of Amun.

On the upper part of the statue, near Senenmut’s shoulder, two groups of hieroglyphs represent the Queen’s two names: ‘Maatkare’ and ‘Hatshepsut‘ in cryptographic form. In the inscription which accompanies them, Senenmut proudly boasts of having invented these cryptograms himself.

More than 20 statues depicting Senenmut, the most favored and influential person during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut, were found in the Karnak cachette. Eight of them portray Senenmut with Princess Neferure, the daughter of Queen Hatshepsut.

This honorary and religious title began to be born by unmarried princesses from now on and was widespread in the Late Period. The sides of the statue were ideal for a long text, listing Senenmut’s numerous titles and functions in connection with the palace and with the cult of Amun.

Block Statue of Senenmut and Neferure
Block Statue of Senenmut and Neferure

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Hatshepsut, ca. 1478-1458 BC. Grey granite. From Karnak Cachette. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 37438, CG 42114

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