Sunday, 3 October 2010

Son of Ramesses II, Khaemwaset

One the activities on my course this year is to research a son of Ramesses II not Merenptah. Who would you choose?

I choose Khaemwaset, the first Egyptologist. I read a good account of his life in Reflections of Osiris by John Ray and it struck a chord. Wouldn't you like to have this written about you?

"It was the High Priest and Prince Khaemwaset who delighted in this statue of the king's son Kawab, which he discovered in the fill of a shaft in the area of the well of his father Khufu. He acted so as to place it is the favour of the gods, among the glorious spirits of the chapel of the necropolis, because he loved the noble ones who dwelt in antiquity before him, and the excellence of everything they made, in the very truth, a million times."

Below is an account from the British Museum of this interesting character.

British Museum - Sandstone conglomerate statue of Khaemwaset: "n his long reign, Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) had many sons by a number of different wives. The best-known of these is almost certainly his fourth son Khaemwaset, who has left many traces of his activities in Egypt. Early in his life, Khaemwaset was attached to the cult service of Ptah, the god of Memphis. Khaemwaset spent most of the rest of his life in the Memphite region. He is renowned as perhaps being the 'first Egyptologist', as he left large inscriptions telling of his visits to clear and renew parts of the pyramids of Giza and Saqqara. He was also responsible for work on the burial places of the Apis bulls at Saqqara, and may even have been buried there himself. In later times Khaemwaset was recalled as a magician.

This statue was probably intended to be set up in the temple at Abydos. It shows Khaemwaset displaying his piety before Osiris by holding one of the god's symbols, the emblem of the nome (province) of Abydos.

The execution of the statue in a sandstone with a vein of pebbly conglomerate shows the skill with which sculptors could work even the most difficult material.

T.G.H. James and W.V. Davies, Egyptian sculpture (London, The British Museum Press, 1983)

C. Chadefaud, Les statues porte-enseignes de (Paris, 1982)

G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)

T.G.H. James, Ancient Egypt: the land and it (London, 1988)

S. Quirke and A.J. Spencer, The British Museum book of anc (London, The British Museum Press, 1992)

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

Here are some other links

He is even on Facebook!!!

1 comment:

Thutmose said...

Excellent choice! Khaemwaset has always been one of my favorite figures in Egyptian history. I always look for him at those places where Ramesses had references to his many children.