Standing Statuette of Lady Henutnakhtu

This wooden standing statuette shows the Lady Henutnakhtu of the 18th Dynasty wearing a tight pleated garment and a long beautiful wig. She is holding in her right hand a flower and in her left one a staff, with which to purify the deceased.

The statuette rests on a wooden base with hieroglyphic text giving the offerings and the name of Henutnakhtu. Note that the face, surmounted by a heavy three part wig, is slightly large in proportion to the rest of the figure. The robe has just one sleeve with the left arm held at her side bare. This statue would have served as part of Henutakhtu’s funerary assemblage.

Standing Statuette of Lady Henutnakhtu
Standing Statuette of Lady Henutnakhtu

The Ancient Egyptians made statues using wood from local trees such as tamarisk, acacia and the sycamore fig. These contained many knots and irregular graining so they were used for small objects. For planks and blocks they imported conifer wood from Lebanon and Syria.

Although Egypt has no forests today, there were wooded areas in antiquity, and, despite a lack of larger strong timbers, there were active industries of carpentry including boat-making. There is no other ancient civilisation from which so many wooden artefacts have survived.

New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, ca. 1550-1292 BC. Height: 22.5 cm. From Saqqara necropolis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 6056

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