Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The king has entered the building

Before the Pyramids: The Origins of Egyptian Civilization exhibition, which opens today at Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago. Star of the show is the statue of King Khasekhem.

Emily Teeter, curator of the exhibition, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, says "the oldest inscribed statue of a king known from Egypt."

This king is about 2 feet tall, seated, made of limestone and weighing something approaching 100 pounds. The inscription notes that he killed 47,209 "rebellious inhabitants of the Delta"— that is, northern Egyptians resistant to the unifying of the north and south regions into one country ruled by a king.

As of 1897, this statue, has resided at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford. It had never been to the US or, as far as Liam McNamara, the Ashmolean's assistant keeper for Ancient Egypt and Sudan, knew, anywhere else outside Oxford since then.

Before the Pyramids: The Origins of Egyptian Civilization runs until 31st December 2011. 

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