c. 2377-2311 BC
Overall: 53.8 x 14.4 x 23.4 cm (21 3/16 x 5 11/16 x 9 3/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1948.420
The base of this statue is inscribed with the name and title of the supervisor of palace attendants, Minnefer. He is represented as young and athletic, hands at his sides and left foot forward, the typical striding pose for male figures. To make the statue more lifelike, the flesh areas were originally painted reddish brown, the wig black, and the kilt white. This was one of four statues of Minnefer that were found in the serdab (sealed statue chamber) of his ruined mastaba (tomb) in the cemetery west of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Most Old Kingdom private statues were concealed in this way. The statue was regarded as more than just a representation. Once the proper rites had been performed, it functioned as a substitute for the deceased individual and could partake of food offerings necessary for the survival of his ka, or vital spirit.
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