Gallery number: 32 – Ground Floor
Period: Old Kingdom
Dynasty: Late Dynasty 5 – Early Dynasty 6
(24th – 23rd Century BC)
Size: H. 43 cm, W. 22,5 cm
Place of discovery: Giza, Tomb of Seneb
Material: Painted Limestone
This group statue of Seneb and his family was found in a naos in his mastaba tomb in Giza. Seneb is represented seated, with his legs crossed, beside his wife who embraces him affectionately. His wife is of normal height. For the sake of the symmetry of the composition, the sculptor carves the couple’s two children where Seneb’s legs would have been, had he been of the same height as his wife. The children are represented naked, with their index fingers in their mouths–the standard manner in which children were typically depicted in art. The boy is seen on the viewer’s left, wearing a sidelock of youth and depicted in a darker skin than his sister’s, who stands on his left. The sidelock of youth was typically worn by male children and was cut off at puberty.
The inscriptions on the base and the front of the seat tell us that Seneb was the funerary priest of the deceased kings Khufu and Djedefra, and in charge of the royal wardrobe.
Seneb’s tomb is very interesting, for it has the first ceiling dome over a square chamber.