Updated: Jul 1
Head of a Colossal Statue of Amenemhat III
Bubastis, the Nile Delta city sacred to the feline goddess Bastet, was an important trading center and governor’s residence beginning in the Old Kingdom. It was later the seat of the Twenty-second Dynasty, whose fifth ruler, Osorkon II (ca. 874–850 b.c.), had his name inscribed on the lower part of this statue (British Museum, London; see photo). Remains of a companion colossus are now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The widely distanced eyes, narrow-bridged nose, double bow–shaped upper lip, and triangular indentations on the chin show that this is doubtlessly an original image of Amenemhat III that Osorkon II usurped. He did not rework the facial features. All earlier inscriptions and indications of original location are lost, but remains of a dowel hole on the right side of the headdress indicate that a repair took place, perhaps after the piece was moved.