New Kingdom, Dynasty XVIII, reign of Thutmose III (1479-1425 BC)
Provenance: Thebes, later Drovetti Collection, 1824
Inv. Nr. C. 1376
This sculpture, composed of a number of reunited fragments, represents King Thutmose III seated in a characteristic royal pose with his hands resting on his knees. He is immediately identifiable as a king by royal attributes including his pleated nemes-headdress and the uraeus-cobra at his brow. In addition, he wears the shendyt-kilt with a zig-zag belt and a central cartouche naming him as ‘King of Upper and Lower Egypt Menkheperre, the perfect god, given life’. He also wears the royal tail (bovine or leonine) between his legs. The king symbolically tramples underfoot the nine foreign tribes and enemies of Egypt, depicted as bows. The sweet face, with its elegantly modelled eyebrows and cosmetic stripes and benign smile, contrasts starkly with the muscular modelling of the torso. The inscription of the throne, however, reminds us that this is the ‘King of the two lands, beloved of the god Amon-Re, a king given life for eternity’. The sides of the throne reinforce the idea of sovereignty over the two lands by means of the lung and windpipe-hieroglyphic phrase sema-tawy or ‘uniting the two lands’. As a military man, Thutmose III expanded into Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia and southwards into much of Nubia.