Fragment of a Queen's Face

This remarkable chunk is part of a statue made up of various materials. The mortise that fit into a tenon extending from the statue’s body, which may have been fashioned of Egyptian alabaster to depict a white clothing, is visible on the back of the piece. The khat-headdress or the Nubian wig might have been appropriate for this head.

The royal woman depicted here cannot be positively identified. It’s hard to believe that Queen Tiye, who was Akhenaten’s mother and was revered as a wise woman in Amarna, was depicted as a voluptuous beauty. Queens Nefertiti and Kiya, on the other hand, might be subjects.

Object Details

Fragment of a Queen’s Face

New Kingdom

Dynasty 18, Reigns of Akhenaten

1353–1336 B.C.

 Egypt, Probably from Middle Egypt, Amarna (Akhetaten)

Yellow jasper

 h. 13 cm (5 1/8 in); w. 12.5 cm (4 15/16 in); d. 12.5 cm (4 15/16 in)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art