Fragment of a Queen's Face1353-1336 BC by Unknown

Egyptian; New Kingdom, Amarna Period, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten; probably from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten).

This striking fragment is from a statue composed of different materials. The back of the piece shows remains of the mortise that fitted onto a tenon extending from the statue's body which may have been made of Egyptian alabaster to represent a white garment. Two headdresses might have fit this head: the khat-headdress, or the Nubian wig (as seen on the canopic jar lid, 30.8.54, in the same gallery).

The royal woman represented here cannot be identified with certainty. It is difficult to imagine that the already aged Queen Tiye—the mother of Akhenaten and highly respected as a wise woman at Amarna—was shown as a beauty of such sensuous character. Queens Nefertiti and Kiya, however, are both possible subjects.

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