12th Dynasty

Statue of Lady Kemtet

Lady Kemtet

This painted wooden statuette is of a woman named Lady Kemtet. It dates from around 1900-1802 B.C., making it a Middle Kingdom piece from around the middle of the 12th Dynasty. The statuette was discovered at the Faiyum Entrance Area of Cemetery B, Tomb 262, in Harageh, Egypt. The inscription upon the base writes as...

Canopic case & jars of Gua

Canopic chest & jars of Gua

This wooden chest with four painted Egyptian alabaster canopic jars belongs to somebody called Gua. They date from the 12th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, approximately, 1939-1760 B.C. Discovered in Deir el-Bersha, they are inscribed with funerary texts on behalf of Gua, invoking the Four Sons of Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Selket and Neith. Three of the jars retain remains of linen packages inside.

Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs. The Louvre. E 25729

Amethyst scarab inscribed with hieroglyphs

This vibrant purple amethyst scarab beetle is said to be found in Tomb IV at Jebail in Lebanon, according to Montet 1928. However, it is impossible to establish the exact provenance of this beetle (cf. Martin 1996). The scarab is beautifully inscribed on its back with name ‘Impy’ and hieroglyphic signs including ka sign, nefer and lotus sign.

Mummy mask of Sebni. Cleveland Museum of Art. 1914.731

Mummy mask of Sebni

This mummy mask of a man named Sebni dates from the 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom period of Ancient Egyptian history, c. 1980–1801 B.C. It was purchased in Asyut, Egypt by Lucy Olcott Perkins through Henry W. Kent and is originally thought to be from the Necropolis of Meir. Meir was the functioning cemetery...

Head of king Senusret III with nemes headdress

Head of king Senusret III with nemes headdress

Fragment of a granite head from a statue of king Senusret III with royal nemes headdress and cobra uraeus. The face of Senusret III is one of the most individual and recognizable in all of Egyptian art. The deep-set, heavy-lidded eyes, the thin lips, and the series of diagonal furrows marking the rather hollow cheeks...

Nile Catfish Pendant

Nile Catfish Pendant

This fish pendant represents a Synodontis Batensoda, more commonly known as the Nile catfish, a species of fish named for its black belly. Often worn at the end of a plait of hair, amulets like this one were used by children and young women to protect against drowning. This fine amulet is made of gold...

Sphinx of Senusret III

Sphinx of Senusret III

In this magnificent example, the face belongs to Senusret III of 12th Dynasty whose features are very distinctive. With the body of a lion and the head of a human, the sphinx symbolically combined the power of the lion with the image of the reigning king. He wears a pleated linen headcloth, called a nemes...

Obsidian (volcanic glass) head of Senwosret III

Obsidian (volcanic glass) head of Senwosret III

This obsidian head, a masterpiece of Egyptian craftsmanship, was part of a full-length statue that probably portrayed king Senwosret III in his mature years. The king is wearing a pleated head-dress (nemes), with the sacred serpent (uraeus), the symbol of royal power. In this piece the artist conveys the impression of a firm but very...

Chlorite head of a female sphinx with missing inlaid eyes, wig clip visible

Head of female sphinx

Chlorite head of a female sphinx with missing inlaid eyes, wig clip visible. Middle Kingdom, 12th Dynasty, c.1876-1842 B.C. Heliopolis, Egypt. Possibly found within Hadrian’s Villa, Rome, Italy. Brooklyn Museum. 56.85 Small details sometimes provide crucial clues to understanding a sculpture. On this object, for example, the back of the wig extends horizontally instead of...

The Josephson Head. MFA, Boston. Accession Number: 2003.244

The Josephson Head

This head of a man dates from the Middle Kingdom, and the facial features and characteristics depicted are easily recognizable from the reign of Senwosret III. Although, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, lists this head as belonging to an Official, it could be argued that the head was originally a depiction of king Senwosret...