The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt - Sarcophagus of Kawit



Identity: Kawit, Wife of Mentuhotep II
Material: Limestone
Period: Middle Kingdom,11th Dynasty
Reign: Mentuhotep II

Height: 119 cm
Length: 262 cm
Width: 119 cm

The representations around the sarcophagus of Kawit were meant to perpetuate activities of a princess of the palace. Her sarcophagus was one of the most noteworthy in terms of the bas-relief sculpture in the Theban court. Here we find a new provincial style liberated from the constrains of register divisions. On the side of the mummy's head there is a palace facade with the central doors decorated with udjat eyes to permit the deceased to communicate with the world of living. Kawit is busy with her toilet, seated on a high back armchair drinking milk with one hand while the other holds a mirror. One of her servants arranges the locks of her mistress's wig with dainty fingers. In another scene a cow whose calf remains bound to her foreleg, provides milk. A tear flows from its eye as if the cow suffered pain when losing milk destined to her calf. On the other side, Kawit is sniffing a bouquet of lotus blossom, while her servant offers her an unguent vessel and fans her. The elongated bodies and the coarse facial features reflect the Theban ideal of feminine beauty.

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