Statue of Hetepdief
The statue of Hetepdief is one of the earliest examples of private statuary, and more importantly, it is yet the first ancient Egyptian statue shown kneeling in the attitude of prayer while maintaining its conformity with ancient Egyptian artistic conventions.
On his right shoulder can be seen the Horus names of three 2nd Dynasty Kings Hotepsekhemwy, Raneb, and Nynetjer which could indicate that he served each of these monarchs. The name of Hetepdief’s father, Mery Djehuty, can be found on the base.
This is one of the first examples of the private statues of the Old Kingdom. For the first time, the figure is represented in a kneeling position with the hands on the knees.
Hetepdief wears a short, round wig with small locks and a short kilt. His name and titles are inscribed on the base of the statue, while the Horus names of the first three kings of the 2nd Dynasty are to be found on his right shoulder.
These kings are Hotepsekhemwy, Nebra or Raneb, and Nynetjer. It seems that Hetepdief served as a priest in their funerary temples.
Old Kingdom, 3rd Dynasty, ca. 2686-2613 BC. Red granite. Dimensions: height: 39 cm, width: 18 cm, profile: 20 cm. From Memphis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 34557