CAIRO – 27 November 2022: The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir is one of the largest international museums, with over 50,000 artifacts on display.
Among the museum's unique pieces is the statue of King Mentuhotep II. The statue depicts Mentuhotep II wearing the king's red crown, and a special custom in celebration of the ancient Egyptian Sed Festival, which continued to be celebrated 30 years after the king's rule.
The body of the statue is painted black and its arms are crossed on the chest to associate it with the deity Osiris, the god of death, fertility and rebirth in ancient Egypt.
Mentuhotep II is the founder of the Middle Kingdom. This Theban king was able to unify Egypt for the second time after King Narmer.
Howard Carter stumbled upon this statue in 1900 when his horse stumbled in the outer courtyard of the king's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari, west of Luxor. Upon inspection, Carter found a well leading to a small room in which this statue was found wrapped in linen. The statue dates back to the Middle Kingdom, the 11th Dynasty, the era of King Mentuhotep II, around 2055-2004 BC.