• Hella Radwan

Hereditary Prince and King's Eldest Son of his Body

Let's step back in time still a bit further today. Previously we looked at a colossus of Ramesses II and also a sitting statue of him from his early reign. Today we look at a statue of the king as a child, being protected by the Levantine god Hauron in the form of a falcon.


Ramesses II was the son of Seti I. Around year 9 of Seti's reign he was appointed as the Great Overseer of the Task Force in charge of the king's granite mining in Aswan. Ramesses II was probably in his early to mid-teens at this time. Seti I also took the crown prince along to military campaigns giving him the training of military leadership he so benefited of later.


Seti I died relatively young, in his 30s, so Ramesses II was still a young man under 20 when he ascended to the throne to rule for 66 years.


This wonderful statue is made of grey granite, except for the face of the falcon that has been sculpted from limestone after it suffered some damage.


The squatting king is depicted nude, wearing the side-lock of youth and with his finger to his mouth, in the typical pose of childhood we know from Egyptian art. The side-lock was used as a divine attribute from at least as early as the Old Kingdom and symbolically indicates that the wearer is a legitimate heir of Osiris. The tight-fitting cap on his head is crowned by a sun disk and he is holding a sedge plant in his left hand.


It has been suggested that the statue spells out the king's name: the sun-disc is Ra, the child is mes, and the sedge plant is sw: Ra-mes-sw. Ramesses II’s titles are written at the base of the statue.


The statue was discovered in Tanis and was excavated by Pierre Monet in 1934-35. Currently it is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, catalogue number JE 64735.


The statue as it was discovered in Tanis.


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