Egyptian. Cast of the original in the British Museum, London. From his mortuary temple at Thebes (Luxor, Egypt), ca. 1350 BCE.


This cast depicts the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III. Here King Amenhotep III is represented in classic pose and dress. Seated on a throne with both hands flat on the knees, he wears a nemes headcloth, false beard and short kilt, which is fitted with a ceremonial bull's tail, shown between the legs. The throne sides are decorated with a motif symbolic of the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. It was made about 1400 BC, discovered in Thebes.

Historical Context:

Amenhotep III was King of Egypt when the capital was at Thebes. The union of Upper and Lower Egypt is symbolized on the side of the throne. Amenhotep III was the ninth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty who ruled Egypt from ca. 1386 BCE to 1349 BCE. His lengthy reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendor, when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and international power. A 2008 list compiled by Forbes magazine found Amenhotep III to be the twelfth richest person in human history. When he died (probably in the 39th year of his reign), his son reigned as Amenhotep IV, later changing his royal name to Akhenaten. In February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun, or King Tut.

During the reign of Amenhotep III, great buildings were erected in Egypt and Nubia. The temple he dedicated to the god Amun still stands, though stripped of its elaborate decorations and furnishings. Of his funerary temple at Western Thebes, all that remains are the disfigured giant statues that stood before its entrance altar, the Colossi of Memnon.

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