Overall: 20.5 x 41.2 cm (8 1/16 x 16 1/4 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1959.186
Just in front of her nostril is the ankh or symbol of life, being given to her by Aten the sun, so that she may breathe in the god's gift of life.
The son of Amenhotep III, Akenaten, brought about the short-lived "monotheistic" revolution in Egyptian religion near the end of Dynasty 18. The young king constructed a temple complex to the Aten, the Sun Disk, at Karnak—where this relief originated—before he moved his capital to El Amarna. For reasons unknown, the figure of the Queen Nefertiti appears in these reliefs far more often than that of the king. Ironically, the Aten temples were dismantled to be used as foundations and fill for adaptations to the Great Temple of Amun, whom the Aten had briefly displaced.
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