Society for the Promotion of the Egyptian Museum Berlin

Sculptural types

  • Stelophor of Sa-Iset
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Kneeling statues

The steophor kneeling statue holds a stele, a tablet inscribed with a prayer in hieroglyphic script usually a hymn to the sun-god, in front of him. As kneeling naophorous statue, he holds a shrine in which is displayed the worshipped deity. As offering figure he holds receptacles or an offering plate.Erected in the temple courtyards, the statues are used by their owners to list their exceptional works in biographical accounts. This self-portrayal on statues on public display grew enormously popular in the Late Period from the 7th century BC.

Scribe statues

The scribe sits cross-legged on the floor with his papyrus scroll open on his lap. He is one of the elite members of ancient Egyptian society. Historic figures who have made a name for themselves through their cultural achievements as poets, architects and artists are still venerated centuries on in the form of scribe statues which are publicly displayed on temple gates. This is also borne out by the portrayal of the signs of age in the corpulence of the upper body - a clear contrast to the otherwise prevailing ideal of eternal youth.

Seated figures


Standing/striding figures


Block statues

The block statue makes its first appearance as a genre in the early Middle Kingdom around 1950 BC. Crouching on the floor with knees drawn tightly inwards, the figure is secreted in a cube, often with feet and hands protruding. Rising from the cube shape, the head takes on added animation and vitality in contrast to the closed block. The flat surfaces of the cube lend themselves to biographical inscriptions. Like the kneeling figure, the block statue is a form of statue which is intended for public spaces. The significance of this form of statue is not entirely clear.


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