Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Artist's Gridded Sketch of Senenmut

New Kingdom
Dynasty 18
Joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III
ca. 1479–1458 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, Radim below entrance,Tomb of Senenmut (TT 71), MMA excavations, 1935–36
Limestone, ink
h. 22.5 cm (8 7/8 in); w. 18 cm (7 1/16 in); th. 3.3 cm (1 3/8 in)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1936
Accession Number:
Not on view
This gridded sketch of a man wearing a short wig undoubtedly depicts Senenmut, one of Hatshepsut's most valued officials. His appointment to a large number of important offices, such as steward of the god Amun at Karnak, enabled him to afford the excavation of an elaborate funerary complex consisting of an offering chapel (TT 71) and a tomb (TT 353) not far from Hatshepsut's temple at Deir el-Bahri in western Thebes. He also created a tomb for his mother, Hatnefer (36.3.1), and other family members on the hillside below.

This limestone chip, called an ostracon, was found in debris on the hillside just below Senenmut's offering chapel on Sheikh abd el-Qurna hill. The profile is quite similar to a drawing in Senenmut's tomb at Deir el-Bahri. It also resembles drawings on another ostracon in the Museum's collection (31.4.2).
Excavated by the Egyptian Expedition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1935–1936. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1936.

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