"He appointed me shepherd of this land..."
A huge change happened in the religious thinking of Egyptians after the collapse of the Old Kingdom. The nobles lost hope of an afterlife associated with the pharaoh and consequently the belief emerged that they too can spend eternity in the realm of the gods.
As the sun god Ra was closely associated with royalty, they needed to find a god that had wider appeal - and Osiris seemed to fit the requirements. Some of the art and architecture of the era also seems to reflect this emphasis on the cult of Osiris.
This statue depicts Senusret I in the form of Osiris. Made of limestone, this statue is one of many that stood in a row in the court of the Amun Temple in Karnak. The statue exhibits a tightly wrapped body with arms crossed over the chest, holding an ankh in each hand.
Its catalogue number is Luxor J174 and - as you might have guessed - can be seen today in the wonderful Luxor Museum.
Senusret I was the 2nd king of the 12th dynasty and his birth name means "Man of (the goddess) Wosret". He was a prolific builder who constructed forts in the south, between the 1st and 2nd cataracts. He also built temples, but unfortunately not much of these has remained. A wonderful building of his that we can still see today is his White Chapel. Next week we will talk about that!