Block statue (Egyptian)

Block statue (Egyptian)

The block statue is a type of memorial statue created because of the easy functions of it that follow. It is a memorializing statue, and ranges from ornate and detailed, to more course, and simpler, for the least famous individuals, or individuals with lesser resources at hand. Because of the cubic, (hexahedron) nature of the statue, 5 of 6 block surfaces are available for display, (minus the flat base). Sometimes the block statue base is mounted on a lintel base, for added hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Examples of hieroglyphs placed on these 5 surfaces can be arranged thus::In vertical columns on the front face.:In horizontal rows, starting and ending on the sides, but completing the frontal face with an extended story.:The top surface as an abbreviated statement of the individual.

The top surfaces of the block statue have the likeness of the individual, and sometimes with his shoulders, and arms folded across the top edges of the cube. Often the individual's hands protrude from the top surfaces. There are also fused examples of the Block statue, with the seated scribe extending his papyrus scroll in his lap, and typically with writing on the scroll.

History of the Egyptian block statue

In Egypt, statues of the seated scribe appear as long ago as the 1st Dynasty. Seated scribe statues evolved over time and some also came to incorporate, Thoth, or the baboon (as the scribal god), into the statue presentation. So, also the complexities of the block statue developed, and evolved. Combinational themes became common, and likewise abbreviated, (simpler, and less costly, – detailed), also developed.

Examples of the statue for Senemut, of Queen Hatshepsut's reign, have extensive stories in hieroglyphs. They also have the added, head of the child upon the top surface. They are finely executed, in a medium or high finish. As an example of the Block statue, Senemut's is one of the typical types::a story of the honored individual on the front surface;:a presentation of the individual, in statue form (in this case with an additional, lesser individual);:a theme. For Senemut, his theme appears to be: "His honoring, His personal story, and the lesser individual, who was his responsibility."

Historical magic: the seated statue "stands up"

Since the Egyptian belief system, contained concepts framed in a world of magic and a formal framework of art expression, the "block statue" had a magical purpose. Obviously ideas evolved, but eventually the idea came for the statue that it was always – seated in place, and at a moments notice, the individual could stand erect and "go out into the day." This concept is quite similar to the Book of the Dead, where the individual is::"returning, and entering..(to/from cemetery Neter-Khert)..the daily returning for events wonderful, to the loved, created habits, (all), sitting in the Hall, Senet-playing... returning as a living-soul (Ba)," Chapter VII, lines 1-3.5. (The Book of the Dead, subtitle: The Coming Forth by Day.)The deceased individual Eqyptian person returns each day, to perform their usual daily life duties. It is also equivalent to the earlier concept of the false door, where the ba-soul returned each day, to find the food offering.

Block statue: examples

The following examples are found in the Ref. Section that follows:

*Block statue for Bakenkhonsu, (Bak, eN, Chons,nsu), who was "High Priest of Amun", for Ramesses II, who possibly usurped this block statue. See Ramses II Ref.

*Block statue of Satepihu, from Abydos, 18th Dynasty. Extensive hieroglyphs: horizontal, front; vertical columns on sides. See Wilkinson Ref., pg 30.
*Block statue for the scribe Rey. A lesser statue; it has few hieroglyphs, but the front surface has him holding a sistraform shrine (a "naos"). See Wilkinson Ref., pg. 212.
*Block statue of Vizier Khay, Karnak, 19th Dynasty. This Block statue fuses the form of the Block statue with that of "shrine" (Shrine #1, Upper Egyptian Shrine). The lintel base, has a single row of hieroglyphs, that extend to the left and to the right (starting at front,center). See Wilkinson Ref., pg. 140.

*Block statue of 12th Dynasty official, Senwosret-senebefni, in medium brown quartzite. Originally the statue was brought to France by Napoleon, in 1799; it is now located at the Brooklyn Museum. The statue has an extensive hieroglyphic story, and a lesser statue of his wife at the front, base. See Reeves Ref., pg. 14.

*Block statue of Senemut and Princess Neferura, Queen Hatshepsut's daughter, –New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, height 1.005 m, medium to deep "black granite," high to extreme polish. Extensive hieroglyphic story: sides, front, top, and the tops of feet, at front base. (Front: 7 horizontal 'registers', and 6 vertical to the feet.) See Hagen Ref., pg. 60.
*Block statue of Amenemhet, Amenemhat II (?), –18th Dynasty, height 0.8 m, dk granite, high polish. Front: eight (8) horizontal registers of hieroglyphs. See Hagen Ref., pg 101.

External links

* [ Brooklyn Museum website]
* [ Louvre block statue of "Wahibre"-(Wah,ib,re)] Louvre statue.
Enlarge in Window; accessed 6 February 2007.
* [ Statue of Senemut] ; [ Article] , see: Senemut

Block statue: (photos)

* [ Image] , [ Article] ; BlkStatue: Ruiu
* [ Statue of Senemut] ; [ Article] , see: Senemut


*Freed, Rita; Denver Museum; Egyptian Antiq. Org. "Ramses II, The Great Pharaoh And His Time," Rita E. Freed, Denver Museum of Natural History, (2nd Printing for Denver), (Printed: Lithographic Printing Co., City of Memphis, TN), c 1987.
*Hagen, R. Hagen, R. "Egypt: People, Gods, Pharaohs," Rose-Marie & Rainer Hagen, (Barnes and Noble Books, New York), c 2003, (originally: Taschen, GmbH, Koln, c 2003, 1999); pg. 60; pg. 101.
*Reeves, Nicholas. "Ancient Egypt, The Great Discoveries, a Year-by-Year Chronicle," Nicholas Reeves, (Thames and Hudson Ltd, London), c 2000. See pgs 14-17, 1799, The Rosetta Stone: Cracking the Hieroglyphic Code, "1799 The Tomb of Amenophis III, 1799 Denon's Papyrus."
*Wilkinson, Richard. "Reading Egyptian Art, A Hieroglyphic Guide to Ancient Egyptian Painting and Sculpture," Richard H. Wilkinson, with 450 Illustrations, (Thames & Hudson Ltd, London), c 1992. Uses: Gardiner's Sign List; (for Hieroglyphs).

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