Women in Egypt

Memi & Sabu

This double painted limestone statue depicts the King’s Acquaintances Memi and Sabu. This close up image showcases the craftsmanship of the Old Kingdom’s sculptors. The fine detailing of Memi’s layered wig, which envelops his head in an elaborate circular style, still has traces of black paint upon it, and the individual carvings of each strand...

Imertnebes

This wooden figure of a priestess named Imertnebes was discovered in Thebes and dates from the Middle Kingdom period, c. 1991-1783 B.C. Imertnebes was a high-ranking priestess who bore a title that would eventually be designated for princesses who served as high-priestesses of Amun; “God’s Wife“. Depicted in typical Middle Kingdom fashion, Imertnebes’s figure is...

Mertites & Chennoe

This piece was discovered at Giza, and the inscription indicates that two persons are depicted, a woman named Mertites (who is depicted twice) and a boy named Chennoe (also sometimes written as Shenoe). The relationship between Mertites and Chennoe is not documented upon the piece, however, it is more than likely that they are mother...

Copulating Couple

This limestone piece, despite damage and missing aspects, depicts a scene of a man and a woman copulating. The man’s phallus is oversized, for symbolism, but the tenderness of the scene showcases an interesting and unique representation of erotic artworks from Ancient Egypt. As the couple lay upon their side facing one another, the man,...

Middle Kingdom Woman

This wooden statuette depicts a Middle Kingdom woman with a wig of plaited hair parted in the middle, creating a pigtail appearance. Her real hair can be seen within the middle part of the wig peeking through, with slight painted lines indicating hair strands. Such a hairstyle was usually associated with the goddess Hathor. The...

The Mummy of Thuya

Yuya and Thuya are the parents of Queen Tiye, the beloved Great Royal Wife of king Amenhotep III. The pair were buried at the famous Valley of the Kings, within their tomb known as KV46, which was discovered in February of 1905 by by the British Egyptologist James E. Quibell, during excavations funded by the...

Hairdressing Scene

These limestone fragments were originally part of a scene in which royal hairdressers attended Queen Neferu. The relief on the right represents Neferu, referred to as “The King’s Wife,” wearing a magnificent beaded usekh collar. Behind her, Henut, the hairdresser, has already pinned one strand of hair and twisted another. The relief on the left...

Paddle Doll

“Paddle dolls” got their nickname from their likeness to modern Ping-Pong paddles. They all include exaggerated images of female genitalia. Some are painted with crude representations of couples having sexual intercourse, while others have pictures of birth-gods. The motif of birth and reproduction shows that “paddle dolls” increased fertility for both the living and, most...

Head of a woman

Head of a woman (momie de femme), discovered at Thebes in 1799. Little is known about the identity of the woman, but she dates from between the New Kingdom Period and Late Period (when the last Native rulers of Ancient Egypt held power), c. 1550–332 B.C. Mummified head of a woman (momie de femme), discovered...

Kemsit

Kemsit was an ancient Egyptian queen consort and the wife of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II of the 11th Dynasty. Her titles included “King’s Beloved Wife” (ḥmt-nỉswt mrỉỉ.t=f), “King’s Ornament” (ẖkr.t-nỉswt), “King’s Sole Ornament” (ẖkr.t-nỉswt wˁtỉ.t), and “Priestess of Hathor”. Her tomb (TT308) and modest ornate chapel were discovered in her husband’s Deir el-Bahari temple complex, behind...