Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Famous (Fake?) Statue of Tetisheri

One of the most famous objects in the Egyptian collection of the British Museum is the famous statue of the Seventeenth Dynasty Queen Tetisheri.

Tetisheri was, according to The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt (by Aiden Dodson and Dyan Hilton), the commoner wife of Senakhtenre Tao, who was one of the last Kings of Egypt's Second Intermediate Period. Tetisheri may have been the mother of King Sekenenre, who seems to have died in battle against the hated Hyksos Kings who were ruling northern Egypt at the time.

The statue itself is pictured in many books devoted to Egyptian art and is familiar to scholars all over the world. It may not deserve its fame however, as there is some reason to believe that it is a fake.

A number of years ago Dr. W. V. Davies published a paper in which he questioned the inscription, the style of clothes the Queen is wearing and the carving of the wig adorning her head. We will take a look at some of this in the next post.