Architrave of Iryenakhet

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 6
2323–2150 B.C.

Object Place: Egypt, Giza; Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Tomb G 2391 / X front


Overall: 19.1 x 184.8 x 47 cm, 218.6 kg (7 1/2 x 72 3/4 x 18 1/2 in., 482 lb.) Framed (Aluminum armature with five wall securement tabs): 54 x 184.8 x 20 cm (21 1/4 x 72 3/4 x 7 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Dynasties 6-11 (Gallery 105C)


The Ancient World



Two limestone blocks; one line of inscription runs across top. Below on left, figure of Iry with female; facing him in the following order from left to right are figures of Mehy, Senedjem-ib, Sheshyt (female), Khnum-enti, rest of surface to right covered with inscription.

Found in two pieces where it had fallen, this large block once formed an architrave over the doorway to the tomb of Iryenakhet, the overseer of funerary priests of Sennedjemib-mehy, whose wooden statue is also on view in this gallery. Iryenakhet and his wife stand at the left as four of their children bring them offerings. The children are all named after members of the illustrious Sennedjemib family in whose cult their father served.

Several elements of this relief, including the presence of several family members, are typical of the style of dynasty 6. Other characteristic features include the tall, slender, long-limbed figures, the absence of much internal detail in their bodies, and the long offering prayer.


From Giza, tomb G 2391 / X front. 1912: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1913: assigned to the MFA by the Egyptian government.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition