New Kingdom, Amarna Period
reign of Akhenaten
ca. 1353–1336 B.C.
From Egypt; Probably from Middle Egypt, Hermopolis (Ashmunein; Khemenu); Probably originally from Amarna (Akhetaten)
24.1 cm (9 1/2 in); w. 53.5 cm (21 1/16 in)
Gift of Norbert Schimmel, 1985
The triumphal procession of the king and the royal family to the temple was a popular scene in the reliefs at Amarna. The family is sometimes accompanied by attendants carrying fans and sun shades, like the four men whose heads are preserved on this block. This group of faces is notable because it includes at least one foreigner. Although the first two men have been described as Asians, they are clean shaven and have no distinguishing characteristics identifying them as a specific ethnic group. Even their hairstyle is similar to one worn by Egyptians of this period. The hairstyle of the third man, however, is typically Nubian. Nubians are known to have served as mercenaries in the Egyptian army since the Middle Kingdom. The four men are standing beside the king's chariot and carry fans. The reins of the chariot are visible along the bottom of the block.