Head of Amenhotep I

This head of the 18th Dynasty king Amenhotep I was discovered within the remnants of the Temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahari (Forecourt, MMA excavations, 1921–22). Amenhotep I contributed multiple restorative building works to the Temple of Mentuhotep, which was originally developed by king Mentuhotep II in the early Middle Kingdom period.

Head of Amenhotep I
Sandstone painted head of king Amenhotep I
Met Museum. 45.2.7

Amenhotep I provided development works to the processional walk way, in which the idols of the god Amun would be paraded annually (once a year), towards the Mentuhotep sanctuary at the Temple. These developments included a row of colossal statues (9ft tall) of himself in the Osiride form. This face is believed to be of one of those statues. The head seemingly went under ancient repairs, as a dovetail dowel was discovered within it’s core.

Made from sandstone, the striking face of the king measures at 20cm and weighs 14lbs. Paint remains upon the face and false beard. The king’s face is serene, and his prominent aquiline nose protrudes forth from his slightly soft “chubby” face.

Head of Amenhotep I
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where this head resides, writes about the piece; “The profile of this head (26.3.30a) is strikingly similar to that shown on a relief depicting the same king (Met Museum. 45.2.7). The similarities in these pieces, one in two-dimensions and the other in three, demonstrate that images of an Egyptian king were probably based on an officially sanctioned likeness that combined recognizable features into an idealized portrait of the monarch in question.”

Painted sandstone head of Amenhotep I, from Osiride statue of the king
New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c. 1525–1504 B.C.
From the remnants of the forecourt of the Temple of Mentuhotep II, Deir el-Bahari.
Met Museum. 26.3.30a

Recently the mummy of Amenhotep I went under non-invasive investigation.