Seated pair statue

Egyptian
Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5
2465–2323 B.C.


Findspot: Egypt, Giza, tomb G 2009

Dimensions

Height: 35.5 cm (14 in.)

Accession Number

06.1885

Medium or Technique

Painted limestone

On View

Egypt: Old Kingdom Funerary Arts Gallery (Gallery 105B)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

Seated statue of a couple, whose names are Bau and Baru, seated on a cube-like chair. The husband, Bau, wears a ahort, curly wig, broad collar, and knee-length kilt. He sits with his hands in his lap, his right hand holding a handkerchief and his left palm open. Baru sits with her left hand flat on her lap and her right arm around her husband’s waist. She wears a full wig, broad colar, and tightly-fitting white sheath dress. The chair is painted pink in imitation of granite.


The small seated pair statue of Bau and Baru bears the following inscriptions on either side of the couple’s legs: “The Tenant Farmer, Bau,” and “The Priestess of Neith, Opener-of-the-ways, and Tenant Farmer, Baru.” Neith was a goddess associated with the northern town of Sais in the Nile Delta.
Statues of the deceased and his family were frequently placed in a sealed room called a serdab, often connected to the offering chapel by a slit in the wall. Egyptians believed the ka, or spirit of the deceased, could enter a statue in the serdab and peer out of the slit. Food for the ka was placed on an offering table near the serdab. These three small statues and offering table were found in a serdab at Giza. The large standing pair statue from another tomb (see 06.1876) is similar to the one originally found with this group, and is now on display in the Cairo Museum.

Provenance

From Giza, tomb G 2009. 1906: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1906: assigned to the MFA by the Egyptian government.
(Accession Date: November 8, 1906)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition