Royal face probably Thutmose III

This royal face of Thutmose III remained from a head of a statue. The style suggests that the sculpture was done during the first half of the 18th Dynasty, most probably for Thutmose III.

Although only parts of this face carved in obsidian remain, it is clear that the features were very delicate. The eyes and eyebrows were carved in sunken relief. These would have been inlaid with stone or paste. The quality of the craftsmanship is admirable considering that obsidian is an extremely hard stone of volcanic origin.

Royal face, probably King Thutmose III
Royal face, probably King Thutmose III

Thutmose III was not only a great military leader, but he was also an effective administrator. He oversaw the expansion and construction of many temples and monuments. He also commissioned the building of ships and expanded the Egyptian navy. Under Thutmose III, the Egyptian empire reached its greatest extent.

“Little wonder that the cult of Thutmose III was honoured for another 1,500 years, until the end of the Ptolemaic Period; or that his name, inscribed on scarabs and amulets, was believed to provide magical protection. For he was, without doubt, the greatest of all soldier pharaohs.”

Lives of the Ancient Egyptians, by Toby Wilkinson

New Kingdom, mid 18th Dynasty, reign of Thutmose III, ca. 1479-1425 BC. Made of obsidian. Height 20 cm. Found in the Courtyard of the Cachette in the Temple of Amun-Re at Karnak in Luxor. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 38248 – CG 42101