Head of King Amenemhat III

Period: Middle Kingdom

Dynasty: Dynasty 12

Reign: reign of Amenemhat III

Date: ca. 1859–1813 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt

Medium: Granodiorite

Dimensions: h. 40.6 cm (16 in); w. 18.4 cm (7 1/4 in); d. 25.4 cm (10 in)

Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Foulds, 1924

Accession Number: 24.7.1


Amenemhat III, son of Senwosret III and sixth king of Dynasty 12, ruled Egypt at the height of its power in the Middle Kingdom, both at home and abroad. He initiated extensive land reclamation projects in the Faiyum and began his pyramid complex at Dahshur, where his father had also built his pyramid. When this pyramid proved during construction to be unstable, he built another pyramid complex at the site of Hawara in the Faiyum. Adjacent to this pyramid was a huge temple that in later times was called the "Labyrinth."

This portrait shows the king wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. Of unknown provenance, it continues the thoughtful realistic style begun under Senwosret III but which has already become less harsh. The head, however, is distinctly youthful, and may have come from a seated statue intended for the king's sed festival or jubilee.