Saturday, January 31, 2015

Statue of an Asiatic in Munich

Figure 1 - Head of an Asiatic Official in Munich
     Munich has a statue of a "typical" Asiatic that the museum has dated to either Egypt's Dynasty Twelve or Dynasty Thirteen. It is well known that by this point in Egyptian history a large number of non-Egyptians had entered the Nile Delta by crossing the Sinai Peninsula and had taken up residence in Egypt. Others entered to trade with the Egyptians or to water their flocks. See representations of such a group in one of the Middle Kingdom tombs as Beni Hasan where the group is referred to as "Heka Khasut" which is the Egyptian term for the Hyksos. Also see a representation of another such a group in the Sinai's Serabit el-Khadim temple where one of the Asiatics is shown riding a donkey.

     Only the head of the Munich statue is preserved. The Asiatic is shown with the "mushroom" haircut that is so typical of these statues. A very similar statue to the one shown here was found during excavations at the Hyksos capital of Avaris. The statue found at Avaris is very fragmentary, but clearly shows the same hair style as well as the top of a throw stick held in the hand of the official. It is quite possible that the Munich statue would also have shown the throw stick if more of the statue had been preserved.

Copyright (c) 2015 by John Freed

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