Statue of Ranefer
The statue depicts Ranefer, standing and is wearing an overlapped kilt of medium length. His hair was cut short and the eyes are painted. This splendid statue was found together with another statue, almost identical, in two niches in the chapel at his tomb at Saqqara. This one shows him in an old age while the other in the flush of youth.
Ranefer was a High Priest of Ptah and Seker in Memphis at the end of the 4th Dynasty and the beginning of the 5th Dynasty. His name means “Ra is beautiful”. His main title was “greatest of the directors of craftsmen belonging to the day of festival”. This is a variation of the title normally assigned to the High Priest of Ptah.
Prophet of Ptah and prophet of Seker, Ranefer also declares himself attached to these two divinities which could indicate the religious origin of his career, the term attached designating here the personnel assigned exclusively to the worship and the domain of the god.
Ranefer also declares to be the king’s confidant, a title which indicates that he participated in the king’s privy council, a position also occupied by his predecessors and successors in the pontificate.
Finally and certainly at the same time as he obtained the title of great chief of craftsmen, the main title of the high priest of Ptah , Ranefer is qualified as a participant in the feast of Re , a title which may be a dating index fixing a terminus ante quem to place it in the chronology of the time.
Indeed, this quality of participant in the festival of Re that the high priests of Ptah of this period carry, is clearly attached to the worship which was rendered in the solar temples built by certain sovereigns of the 5th Dynasty and whose first sponsor is Userkaf.
Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, ca. 2494-2345 BC. Painted limestone. From Saqqara Necropolis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 10063