Menkaure and His Wife, Queen Khamerernebty Statue
The statue of Menkaure and His Wife, Queen Khamerernebty was unearthed during an archeological expedition at Giza headed by George Reisner. Almost 5 feet in height, the slate-material statue was discovered on 18 January 1910. The Menkaure and Khamerernebty statue was dated to have belonged in the 4th Dynasty which places its age between 2548 and 2530 BCE. The statue depicts Menkaure wearing a kilt, a headdress fit for pharaohs, and a ceremonial beard. On the other hand Khamerernebty is positioned on the left side of Menkaure wearing a very thin or tight garment that hugs her form as suggestive of the traces of the breast and nipples and the triangle on her groin. Their garments are chosen to accentuate their features and highlight their physicality (Witcombe, 2000).
The statue of King Menkaure and Queen Khamerernebty were a typical representation of power as immortalized through stone. The rigid formality of the subjects as depicted by their formal stance and straight forward presentation of Menkaure and Khamerernebty standing straight. This was a typical Egyptian pose suggestive that the subjects of the sculpture are of royal descent which was very evident with the headpiece and beard of Menkaure which also suggests he is a pharaoh and Khamerernebty’s wig which is typical of aristocratic women. Combined together, it is but logical to assume that Khamerernebty is Menkaure’s wife—as suggested by her hand position, both hand touching Menkaure on the waist and on the arm. The formality that exudes Menkaure and Khamerernebty—positioning, stance, physical structure, garment, and facial features are suggestive of their power and social status.
Despite the statues being unfinished—unpolished work around the leg area and lack of markings to identify the statue, it is still a great material culture symbolic of the golden age of Egypt where pharaohs rule in luxury and splendor.
Witcombe, C. (2000). Menkaure and His Queen. Sweet Briar College. Retrieved from http://witcombe.sbc.edu/menkaure/menkaurediscovery.html