Wooden Statues of Merti and his Wife

Statue of Merti from his tomb
Probably late Dynasty 5 (ca. 2380-2323 BCE)
Acacia wood, excavated at Saqqara, tomb of Merti
Rogers Fund, 1926

(From info card)
Merti was a high official and provincial governor. Eleven exceptionally large wooden statues were found in the serdab (statue chamber) of his tomb. Five are in the collection of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art [this one, two others not photographed], and the two in the case near the column [photographed and seen below]; five, including two wooden scribes are in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, and one in the Medlhavsmuseet, Stockholm.

"Most of these statues represent Merti in various aspects of his life and career, denoted by changes in wigs and garments... Three statues of women were also present, each in a different wig."


Merti and his Wife
Dynasty 5, ca. 2350 B.C.E.?
From Saqqara, SAE Excavations
Painted Wood
Rogers Fund, 1926, 26.2.2 and .3

(From info on statue case:)
These two statues of Merti and his wife are the best preserved of the Museum's five examples. Merti is again stepping forward with his staff and scepter of authority and his wife is standing quietly in repose. Each is wearing wigs, jewelry and linen garements. The statues are approximately life-size."

The side view reveals he is carrying the same scepter Akhtihotep does

"The sekhem scepter "donates the concept of 'power' and 'might.' The word sekhem could thus refer to divine beings as 'powers,' and the name of the warlike lion goddess Sekhmet means, in fact, 'She of Might.'"

"From the Third Dynasty on, the sekhem appears in the royal names of kings, and later in the titles of queens and princesses also. But from thea earliest times the sekhem was also delegated, as a baton of office, to viziers and others of important rank. Such persons are often shown bearing the scepter in the fulfillment of their duties." (Illustration and quote from _Reading Egyptian Art_, by Richard H. Wilkinson, pages 182-183)

And lastly, we have some very nice close up details photographed by Heidi Kontkanon:

Merti's face

Merti's wife's face

And a beautiful close up of Merti's hand