Statue of Metjetji

Painted wooden statue of Metjetji
Painted wooden statue of Metjetji
35 1/16 in. (89 cm)

With titles such as, “Overseer of the Bureau of Tentantry of the Court“, “Overseer of the Office of the Palace of Tenants”, “Liege of the King of the Great Palace”, Metjetji was clearly a wealthy man of elite status. It is believed he worked directly with the king and possibly played an important role in the governing practices of his time. Surely, Metjetji was able to ensure himself a luxurious afterlife thanks to his status, as he was buried within a Saqqara tomb filled with multiple wooden Ka statues and even a limestone false door, on which he is depicted 8 times!

Cow milking scene from the Tomb of Metjetji, Saqqara Necropolis.
Cow milking scene from the Tomb of Metjetji, Saqqara Necropolis.

A man who lived, worked and died during Ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom period, it is believed Metjetji worked during the reign of King Unas, the last king of the 5th Dynasty, which fits the notion that Metjetji’s lifespan was between the late 5th to early 6th Dynasty.

Striding statue of Metjetji holding a staff. Brooklyn Museum. 50.77
Striding statue of Metjetji holding a staff. Brooklyn Museum. 50.77

Signifying his status, Metjetji is depicted in this particular statue with a short cropped wig, usekh collar and a necklace. He has a kilt (shendyt), adorned with a decorative girdle (belly chain/belt), that cascades down his front from the waist.

A glance at the back of the statue of Metjetji gives us an interesting glimpse at how the usekh collar was worn.
A glance at the back of the statue of Metjetji gives us an interesting glimpse at how the usekh collar was worn. We can see a loop to assure the collar stayed in place.



Now on display at the Brooklyn Museum (50.77) alongside two other painted wooden statues of Metjetji, also found within his tomb.

Old Kingdom, Late 5th-Early 6th Dynasty, c. 2371-2288 B.C.
Saqqara, Egypt. Tomb of Metjetji

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