Head of a princess probably Meritaten
This yellow-brown quartzite head of a princess is probably Meritaten, the eldest daughter of Akhenaten. It was excavated by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft in 1912 in a studio of the chief sculptor Thutmose at Tell el-Amarna.
The head is from a composite statue where different pieces were sculpted separately and joined together. The skull is elongated and the features include protruding eyes, thick lips, and large ears. The style belongs to the middle period between the early Amarna style with its exaggerated deformation and the later return to convention.
Her name means “She who is beloved of Aten”; Aten being the sun-deity whom her father, King Akhenaten, worshipped. Her sisters are Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Neferneferure, and Setepenre. She was married to King Smenkhare.
In Amarna art the daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti express the tenets of the new religion. Gathered playfully near their parents, they suggest creative force, emphasize the sacred grouping that is the royal family, and enact the intimacy that was a subject for the newly expressive art.
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, Amarna Period, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1353-1336 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 44869