Triad of standing male figures

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


Findspot: Egypt, Giza, tomb G 2009

Dimensions

Height: 25 cm (9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

06.1882

Medium or Technique

Painted limestone

On View

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

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

Standing statuette of brightly painted limestone, representing three brothers, Hes, Khuptah and Nikaukhufu. All three men wear short kilts and broad collars. Hes wears a full, striated, shoulder-length wig, while Khuptah has a short curly wig, and Nikaukhufu wears only his closely cropped hair. The front of the base, inscribed with the men’s names, is painted pink in imitation of granite, while the top of the base and back pillar are painted black.


The triad of standing figures represents three tenant farmers of the palace, NikauKhufu, KhuPtah and Hesi, who were most likely related to the tomb owner.
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