Granite head of Amenemhat III


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

The city of Bubastis was well known in Greek times; it is described by the Greek historian Herodotus (about 485-425 BC). The city was the centre of the cult of the cat goddess Bastet, and the residence of the kings of the Twenty-second Dynasty (about 945-715 BC), the so-called 'Libyan' rulers. However, the remains in the British Museum suggest that its history stretches back much farther, although there is a slight possibility that some monuments were moved to Bubastis by later rulers, as happened at Tanis.

This head comes from one of two large seated statues of Amenemhat III (1854-1808 BC) that flanked the entrance to the temple at Bubastis. Fragments of the lower part of this statue are also in the British Museum, while the head of the second statue is now in the Cairo Museum. Temples were often flanked by pairs of colossal statues, the best example being the so-called Colossi of Memnon at the entrance to the Temple of Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC).

The names of the original owners of the statues have been replaced by others, the last of which was Osorkon II (about 874-850 BC) of the Twenty-second Dynasty.


  • Title: Granite head of Amenemhat III
  • Date Created: -1854/-1808
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 79.00cm (max); Width: 77.00cm; Depth: 69.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: inlaid
  • Registration number: 1889,0413.1
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Tell Basta
  • Period/culture: 12th Dynasty
  • Material: granodiorite
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Authority: Ruler Amenemhat III
  • Acquisition: Donated by Egypt Exploration Fund

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps