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Storytelling with Art

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Standing Figure of the Finance Minister Maya

ca. 1330 BCE
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18 (1550-1295 BCE)
33 9/16 x 11 in. (85.2 x 28 cm)

Unknown, Egyptian
Egyptian

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Limestone
Credit Line: R.T. Miller Fund
Accession Number: 1942.55
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

The inscription identifies this relief as belonging to the tomb of Maya, the son of Iwy and Werit. Maya, the Overseer of the Royal Treasury who served the pharaohs Tutankhamun, Aya and Horemhab, also supervised the preparation of the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ay in the Valley of the Kings. An inscription from another part of the tomb, now in Liverpool, England, tells us that Tutankhamun himself ordered Maya to journey from Aswan, a city in the south, to the shores of the Mediterranean. His instructions were to levy taxes in order to establish offerings for all the gods of Egypt.

In this relief, Maya is shown wearing an elaborate wig, the individual curls of which are tied at their ends. His facial features are distinctive, particularly his aquiline nose and strong chin. His accessories include two collars of disk beads that represent the “gold of honor.” Pharaohs of the period gave this type of collar to distinguished administrators as a reward for their service.

Richard Lepsius, a famous German Egyptologist, studied the tomb of Maya during the 1900s. He and his team published drawings that place the Gallery’s relief on the exterior south side of the entrance to the antechamber of the tomb.

[Excerpted from gallery label text, 2004]

Provenance
Possibly Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942), London; William Tyssen-Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst (1835-1909); his sale, Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, June 13-17, 1921, as lot no. 193; Vladimir G. Simkhovitch (1874-1959), New York, before 1937; purchased from him by the Gallery in 1942

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
MAGexplore MAGexplore provides in-depth information and close looking at over 200 objects in MAG's collection.
7 tombs in New Kingdom Cemetery open Associated Press article
Saqqara Online Website for the excavations at Saqqara. Includes details of the history of excavations, and specifics of the archaeological work done at Maya's tomb.
National Museum of Antiquities Website of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Netherlands, which owns a monumental statue of Maya and his wife Merit from this tomb complex. View the statue by clicking on the Collections link, then Showpieces, then Maya and Merit.

The National Museum continues excavation in Saqqara. For more information on their expeditions, click on Excavations.
Highlights of Saqqara Dr. Maarten Raven of the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden speaks of artifacts from Maya's tomb in Saqqara
Highlights of Saqqara Dr. Maarten Raven of the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden speaks of artifacts from Maya's tomb in Saqqara


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