Ankhudjes and Iynefretef

Created: Ancient Egypt. 24th century BC

Found: Burial of Ankhudjes, Saqqara Necropolis.

Carved from a single block of limestone, this sculptural group shows a civil servant of average rank, Ankhudjes, with his wife. This Ancient Egyptian work dates from the late 5th - early 6th Dynasties (24th century BC). Ankhudjes is shown seated, his hands resting on his knees. He wears a short apron tied with a belt. We can see the locks of his natural hair peeping out from beneath the broad, luxurious wig. The round face with its large eyes, small nose and pouting mouth is not a portrait, but shows a generalized, idealized type typical of the era. On the base in front of the figure of his wife is the inscription "The ruler Ankhudjes, his wife Iynefretef". The fine, elegant figure of Iynefretef in her clinging dress is on a considerably smaller scale. With her right hand she embraces her husband's shoulders, a gesture which indicates relationship and which is found in many family groups. The original painting, all done according to the reigning canons, is well preserved - the tanned body of the man is shown by reddish-brown ochre, while the woman's body is in a paler yellow tone; the clothing is white, while the wig and eyebrows of Ankhudjes are black. The base and part of the block which serves as background are covered with black paint


Ankhudjes and Iynefretef


Archaeological site:

Burial of Ankhudjes, Saqqara Necropolis



38 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1938; transferred from the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR

Inventory Number:




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