Colossal Statue of Amenhotep III

In this statue, King Amenhotep III is represented seated on a throne with his arms placed on his legs, palms down. He wears a short kilt, the nemes headdress with a fake beard, collar, and a bull’s tail which is visible between his legs.

Both of his eyes have a rimmed upper eyelid – a feature which was employed frequently in depictions of Amenhotep III. The sides of the throne depict intertwined lotus and papyrus flowers symbolizing the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. The name Belzoni is deeply carved onto the base.

Statue of King Amenhotep III
Statue of Amenhotep III

The statue, commonly known as the Colossal Statue of Amenhotep III, is a significant artifact from ancient Egypt.

Amenhotep III ruled Egypt for thirty-eight years (c. 1391-1353) during what is largely considered the Golden Age of the 18th Dynasty.

The wealth and success of his reign are reflected in art – over 1,000 statues of Amenhotep III were commissioned during his lifetime.

Additionally, his mortuary temple in Thebes was the largest of its kind at 328 feet wide by 1,968 long when it was constructed.

All art in ancient Egypt had a magical purpose – it is likely that worshipers at the temple would have made offerings to Amenhotep III through this statue or used it to facilitate prayer to his ka, or life force, for assistance.

The British Museum houses a collection of artifacts and artworks from ancient Egypt, including several pieces related to Amenhotep III. These artifacts provide insights into his reign and the artistic and cultural achievements of his time.

Detail of the seated statue of King Amenhotep III. British Museum. EA 4
Detail of Amenhotep III. British Museum, London. EA 4

Additionally, it houses other objects and reliefs that depict Amenhotep III and his accomplishments, such as inscribed stelae, statues, and fragments from his temples.

These artifacts contribute to our understanding of Amenhotep III’s reign and the artistic and cultural developments of ancient Egypt during his time.

New Kingdom, late 18th Dynasty, reign of Amenhotep III, ca. 1391-1353 BC. Made of grandiorite. From Kom el-Hetan, Thebes. Purchased from: Henry Salt. Now in the British Museum. EA 4