Permanent Collection Catalogue Available
Egypt, Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5, reign of Userkaf
Painted limestone, Overall: 6.5 x 7.2 cm (2 9/16 x 2 13/16 in.); Face: 4.8 x 4.8 cm (1 7/8 x 1 7/8 in.). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1979.2
Despite the monumental achievements of the Old Kingdomâ€™s Pyramid Age, few images of its rulers survive. This head has been identified as King Userkaf, the first king of Dynasty 5. Userkaf built a modest pyramid at Saqqara and a temple to the sun god Ra at Abusir. According to later tradition, the first three kings of Dynasty 5 were the children of Ra himself and a mortal woman. From Userkafâ€™s reign on, the kings of Egypt were called "Sons of Ra." Here, Userkaf wears the two basic items of regalia that identify him as king: the tall, conical White Crown of Upper (southern) Egypt, and the royal false beard.
CMA, 13 February-9 March 1980, The Year in Review for 1979, cat.: CMA Bulletin 67, no. 3 (March 1980), no. 1, illus. p. 63; CMA, 22 November 1983-22 January 1984, Portraiture: The Image of the Individual; CMA 1996 (not in catalogue)
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