Six things about Sekhemka

Last week, this statue was sold to a private owner. Historians, archaeologists and scholars from all fields lament this sale as the statue is important not just to Northampton’s collection but to scholars worldwide.

Mike Pitts – Digging Deeper

left side

1. It’s beautiful

The best analysis of the statue is by TGH James. An Egyptologist at the British Museum, he described it in full, for the first time, in 1963, after someone had tipped him off about it (“The Northampton statue of Sekhemka”, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 49, 5–12).

According to James, the man is identified by an inscription on the base beside his left foot (“Inspector of scribes of the house of the master of largess, one revered before the great god, Sekhemka”). By his right foot sits Sitmeret (“She who is concerned with the affairs of the king, one revered before the great god, Sitmeret”). She is carved, it seems, as a real woman, her left arm wrapped affectionately behind Sekhemka’s right leg, the hand protruding below his knee – the other half, as it were, of his identity. No relationship is described, but James felt “the intimate…

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