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Queens Kawit & Kemsit, 11th Dynasty

Updated: Jul 4

Kemsit on a relief from Deir el-Bahari in an embrace with unknown person, now in Munich

Kemsit was a Kemetic Queen and royal Priestess of Het-Heru. Queen Consort of Menuhotep II of the 11th Dynasty. Her tomb (TT308) and small decorated chapel were found in her husband's Deir el-Bahari temple complex, behind the main building, along with the tombs of five other ladies, Ashayet, Henhenet, Kawit, Sadeh and Mayet. Most of them were priestesses of Het-Heru, so it is possible that they were buried there as part of the Neter's spiritual followers, and they were most likely daughters Kings of nobility.


Temple Relief

Third Picture: Limestone relief fragment of the Royal Favourite Kemsit: Kemsit sits on a wide, low-backed chair holding a vase of scented ointment to her nose. In front of her was the smaller figure of a male servant, of which only his hand remains, holding a small cup that is receiving the stream of liquid he was pouring into it with his other hand. This servant was obviouslyfacing leftward, and since the inscription in front of him has its signs also facing left, we can be sure that the inscription belongs to the servant. Kemsit has short, curly hair. Her necklace is a broad collar with many strands and an outer row of drop-shaped pendants, and she wears cuff-shaped bracelets made of many strands of tiny beads held in place by a spacer bead.

Relief of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II and Queen Kemsit

Forth Picture: The decoration on the sides of the queens’ shrines was rendered in sunk relief. Here, Kemsit stands behind the king and embraces him. While this gesture of affection is endearing, it symbolized the ritual role of the queen, rather than expressing personal ties. The yellow and black background color imitates wood. Many of the forms of ancient Egyptian stone architecture were derived from constructions made of wood and other perishable materials.


Relief of Queen Kawet and Kemsit

Date: between 2061 and 2010 BC, Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt /

Ruler :Mentuhotep II

Place of discovery: Deir el-Bahari

Located: Façade du musée d'art et d'histoire à Genève

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