Statuette of Imhotep dedicated by Padiamun

Artefact Details

Gallery number: Room 19 – Upper Floor

Period: Late Period (c. 664–332 BC)

Size: H 21.50 cm W 5.00 cm L 13.00 cm

Material: Bronze, gold, silver

Imhotep was the Chief Minister to King Djoser, an astrologer, mathematician, physician and priest. Being a brilliant architect, he is credited with building Djoser’s step pyramid and funerary complex at Saqqara. Due to his achievements and favoured position, Imhotep’s name was inscribed on the plinth of Djoser’s statue found in Saqqara and exhibited in the Egyptian Museum.

Imhotep was worshipped as a deity from the Late Period until the 7th century AD. Many temples and shrines were erected and dedicated to him, especially in Memphis and Philae, where the injured and sick people believed that Imhotep would provide cures. Imhotep was associated with the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Asclepius, both of whom were gods of medicine and wisdom.

This statuette of Imhotep depicts him with close-cropped hair or covering his hair with a tight skull cap, his eyes are inlaid in silver and he is wearing a short-pleated kilt with a broad gilded collar. He holds a sheet of papyrus on his lap, which is rolled up on both ends, inscribed with a votive spell. His sandaled feet rest on a small square base inscribed with the name of Imhotep and the dedicator, Pediamun, son of Bes and Irteru.