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Monday, March 30, 2015

Granodiorite

Male God
granodiorite
Egypt
c. 1390-1352 BC

The Metropolitan Museum in New York now makes most publications from past years freely available online. Because they do, I could browse the museum's Bulletin and discover Recent Aquisitions : A Selection : 1996-1997. Among the back-stories of the various objects was the following about an Egyptian statue broken apart in ancient times but fated to be put back together again in New York at the end of the 20th century 

"The opportunity rarely arises of reuniting long-separated sculptural fragments to create a virtually complete Egyptian statue. The head of a god, acquired by the Museum in 1919, has long held a prominent position among works from the time of Amenhotep III. The torso, in a private collection for three decades, was only recently recognized as belonging to the head. The attire and the divine war-scepter held vertically in front of the body identify it also as part of a god's statue. The style dates it to the reign of Amenhotep III. Although the surfaces of the two pieces indicate that they spent most of the past three millennia in different environments, the dimensions and the position of the break in each suggested a match. When brought together, they fit exactly. The specific god represented here cannot be determined, since no identifying inscription or attributes are preserved. However, the statue almost certainly belongs to the series of divine images installed by Amenhotep III in his vast mortuary temple, which once stood behind the so-called Colossi of Memnon in western Thebes. The sculptures symbolized the congregation of gods at Amenhotep's heb sed, a festival commemorating thirty years of his reign and intended to rejuvenate the aging king."

Elsewhere on the Met site I discovered that the stone called granodiorite can only be distinguished from granite by proportional analysis of component elements (though one assumes the Egyptians themselves had other ways of making the distinction). I searched for additional Met sculpture from Egypt made of granodiorite. Here are the ones with highest index marks for visual allure 

Goddess Sakhmet
granodiorite
Egypt
c. 1390-1352 BC

Nectanebo II Offers to Osiris Hemag
granodiorite
Egypt
c. 360-343 BC

Pair statue of Neferkhawet and Rennefer
granodiorite
Egypt
c. 1479-1450 BC

Seated Statue
granodiorite
Egypt
c. 1950-1640 BC

Head of the God Amun
granodiorite
Egypt
c. 1336-1327 BC