Colossal Statue of King Akhenaten

A colossal statue that represents Akhenaten standing with his arms folded, holding the flail and heka scepters. He is depicted with his particular realistic features; long face, narrow eyes, the long protruding chin, and the fleshy lips.

The king is shown naked, without any distinctive sexual organ, which is thought, by some Egyptologists to represent the king as “the primordial god considered as the father and the mother” of the people.

Colossal of King Akhenaten
Colossal of King Akhenaten

This colossal statue was discovered with a similar statue, but with small differences. They were erected at Karnak, resting against pillars in the courtyard of the temple built by him, next to the temple of Amun-Re.

In the other statue, the king is wearing the traditional pleated kilt but with low waist to show his swollen belly. The two colossi were sculpted at the early period of his reign before he transferred his capital from Thebes to Tell el-Amarna.

Akhenaten (ah-keh-NAH-ten), best known for introducing a revolutionary form of monotheism to ancient Egypt, reigned in the mid-1300s B.C. He was married to Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, may have been his son. He was known as Amenhotep IV before the fifth year of his reign.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 BC. This statue is now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 49528. Ground floor, Amarna Gallery, room 3.