Wife of Mentuhotep II
This upper part of a painted limestone statue depicting a woman in an elaborate wig, linen white dress, and honey golden skin was discovered at Deir el-Bahari, within the remnants of the Temple of Mentuhotep II. It is said by some this statue depicts a wife of the Middle Kingdom king.
King Mentuhotep II is attributed with reunifying Egypt, after the empire’s first dynastic catastrophic collapse, known to historians today as the First Intermediate Period. Mentuhotep II was the son of Intef III and his wife Iah.
The depiction of the woman has classic Middle Kingdom style, with the Hathor-esque style wig and the overly large ears, a trait which became rather popular, most noticeable with the later Senwosret lineage.
The statue would have originally been within the structure of the wall’s masonry, the statue was discovered among rubble.
Possibly from the New Kingdom…
It must be noted, that Dieter and Dorothea Arnold propose this statue was from the 18th Dynasty, rather than the Middle Kingdom. This is not impossible, as the location near to the remnants of the Temple of Mentuhotep was a hot spot for 18th Dynasty building works, notably Thutmose III and Hatshepsut. And a resemblance to the statue of Ahmose Meritamun from the Temple of Amun at Karnak depicting the queen wearing a Hathor wig with enlarged ears (British Museum. EA93), is evident.
It is said that the Temple of Mentuhotep was of great inspiration to later kings.