Standing Statue of Priest Atjema

A man is one of the classic Old Kingdom poses is depicted in this large statue with well-preserved colors. Atjema is standing with his left foot forward, as if walking. His arms are held close to his sides, and, typically, he has cylindrical object in his hands. The spaces between his torso and arms and separating his legs, were painted black to give the illusion that the stone has been carved away.

Atjema stands against a support that comes to the middle of his back. His narrow chest and slim waist from elegant silhouette, but his musculature is not pronounces, with the expectation of the pectorals, which are linear in design. The ridge of the tibia is fairly prominent.

Standing Statue of Priest Atjema
Standing Statue of Priest Atjema

Atjema’s kilt, knotted at the waist and finely pleated in a herringbone pattern on the right side, is quite elaborate, and he wears a beautiful broad collar of seven rows of beads in alternating colors of blue and green and ending in a row of pendants.

He wears a round wig that leaves the ears free in an altogether unusual manner, and his fine mustache is indicated with a stroke of black paint. On the pedestal, which is painted black, three columns of hieroglyphs inscribes in white in front of the right foot give the beginning and end of his proper name, a few common epithets, and his titles: “Wab Priest of the King and Priest of the Sun Temple of Sahure.” These titles make it possible to establish a relatively precise date for the work.

Old Kingdom, 6th Dynasty, ca. 2345-2181 BC. Painted limestone, probably from Saqqara necropolis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. CG 99

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