Digital Giza
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5th Dynasty (2465–2323 BCE)

Standing Statue of Khuienkhufu

Khuienkhufu, "the one whom Khufu protects," was an influential Old Kingdom official with titles including inspector of palace attendants, priest, and royal acquaintance.

His statue, discovered near the Giza pyramids in 1936, presents him with a short wig and kilt, which are characteristic of the time period.

Follow the Statue from Discovery to Museum

4th Dynasty, Reign of Menkaure (2494-2472 BCE)

Statue of Menkaure and Queen

A frontal viewpoint, rigid pose, and ideal proportions; this nearly life-size statue of King Menkaure and his queen (possibly Khamerernebty II) perfectly exemplifies the artistic conventions of the times.

Considered a masterpiece, it was found in a “robber's pit” at Menkaure's Valley Temple.

Learn more about this statue

4th Dynasty (2520-2494 BCE)

Bust of Ankh-haf

This fascinating bust of a very important member of the royal family named Ankh-haf seems to break the “rules” of Egyptian art.

Instead of the young, idealized face we see on other statues, Ankh-haf is older, tired-looking, and serious.

He was a member of King Khufu’s royal family, and helped with the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. His tomb is the second-largest of all the high officials’ tombs at Giza.

Learn more about the bust

4th Dynasty, Reign of Menkaure (2494-2472 BCE)

Two Greywacke Menkaure Triads

These finely carved statues of a stone called greywacke are full of symbolism. Four of these groups of three, or triads, appeared in the Valley Temple of King Menkaure.

They show the king, who built the third pyramid at Giza, the important goddess Hathor who wears a sun disk and cow’s horns, and a god or goddess of one of Egypt’s districts, often called “nomes.”

There might have been many more of these triads, but archaeologists have only found four complete ones so far. The triad with the seated Hathor is in Boston; the other three are in the Cairo Museum.

Learn more about the triads [1] [2] [3] [4]

4th Dynasty (2520-2494 BCE)

Limestone “Reserve Head”

If you ask people what this head is, you’ll get many different responses: a sculptor’s practice model? A religious object? A wig stand?

The exact purpose of these mysterious “reserve heads” remains a mystery, but we do know that they come from Giza burial chambers and tomb shafts. And they all date to the 4th Dynasty.

Perhaps they served as “reserves” in case the mummy was damaged. They were never parts of complete statues. And they seem to show unique individual people; this is not common in Egyptian art. We still have much to learn about “reserve heads.”

View a collection of reserve heads

Pottery

Pottery may look much simpler than the statues and other “fancy” objects in the Harvard Camp courtyard.

But pottery contains invaluable information that archaeologists use to learn about dates because styles change from one area to another, and from one time period to another.

Pottery from one region discovered in another region can also help archaeologists understand trade routes or ties between different cultures in the ancient world.

View a collection of Pottery found at Giza

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