Old Kingdom Statue of Raherka and Meresankh
Painted limestone statue of Raherka and Meresankh. Raherka held high administrative responsibilities. He was an “inspector of scribes of the jackal”. Meresankh’s title was “King’s acquaintance”, which means she had access to the royal palace.
The couple is known from their beautiful pair-statue, which is an example of portraiture in Ancient Egypt. The statue is carved from limestone and is 52.8 centimetres (20.8 in) high. The husband and wife are carefully modeled with Raherka’s figure showing musculature.
The pair-statue is painted in multiple colors. The husband is rendered in the traditional red skin color used for males, while his wife Meresankh is painted in a yellow toned skin color which was standard for that time. The wigs and eyeliners are painted black.
The statue of Raherka and Meresankh has been compared to that of the dwarf Seneb and his family. In both statues the wife is shown warmly embracing her husband.
The German Egyptologists Hermann Junker had dated the pair statue to the end of the Old Kingdom, and it has been suggested that the statue dates to the 5th Dynasty. Others have suggested that the pose of the wife and the names point to the 4th Dynasty.
The statue was found in 1902 by Montague Ballard and probably comes from tomb D 37 which is located in the Steindorff cemetery in Giza.
Old Kingdom, 4th-5th Dynasty, c. 2350 B.C. Musée du Louvre. E 15592