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Ancient Face Of A Pharaoh At Karnak
Mark E Tisdale
Photograph - Photo
These ancient remains of a statue of an Egyptian Pharaoh have stuck with me long since I left Egypt. There's something haunting about the gaze from a broken statue. There's something about the golden hues of the light that harkens back to the ancient history of Karnak, where this was photographed. I can't quite explain it but the word haunting comes to me each time I reach for it, so I'll repeat myself on that point.
For years I couldn't recall the identity of the Pharaoh this ancient statue was meant to represent. Our guide told us that most of the statues in Egyptian times were re-used many times over to represent successive rulers. I have since been told this is most likely King Tut, aka Pharaoh Tutankhamun. The cartouche was likely updated to match the names of later rulers like Horemheb and perhaps more than one of the Ramses. But the face was likely sculpted under the rule of the famous King Tut.
What I am certain of is that the workmanship in this statue, even broken centuries upon centuries later, is quite evident. Look at the smooth face, the details in the chest and head-dress. He's quite life-like whether or not he represented a particular ruler or a hundred of them. And he speaks volumes about the ancient artisans who labored at Thebes, the site of modern day Luxor and Karnak.
Note. That the temple ruins at Luxor and Karnak are part of a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.
February 13th, 2013
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