Head of a king as Khepri, possibly Ptolemy VI Philometor

Period: Ptolemaic or Roman Period

Reign: reign of Ptolemy VI Philometor

Date: 180–145 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt

Medium: Limestone, paint traces

Dimensions: H. 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.); W. 11.5 cm (4 1/2 in.); D. 8.4 cm (3 5/16 in.)

Credit Line: Purchase, Fletcher Fund and The Guide Foundation Inc. Gift, 1966

Accession Number: 66.99.166


Ptolemy VI Philometor ascended the throne as a child and his mother, Cleopatra I, acted as regent. He married his sister, Cleopatra II, and ruled jointly with her.

A scarab beetle designating the god Khepri is carved in relief on top of this royal head, which belongs stylistically to the Ptolemaic Period. The representation of the pharaoh as Khepri, a creative god, has a long history, although it has been suggested the representation here is tied more specificially to the Ptolemy VI, one of whose names refers to Ptah-Khepri.