Head of Viceroy Merymose from his Outer Sarcophagus, c. 1375 BCE
Rock: red granite
Gift of Margaret Lanphier Wengren, class of 1938
Period: Dynasty 18, Period of Amenhotep III (c1375 BCE)
Classification: Decorative Art
Dimensions: Sight: 27 3/4 x 17 3/4 in. (70.49 x 45.09 cm)
This is the effigy from the outer sarcophagus of Merymose, the Viceroy of Kush (Nubia) under Amenhotep III. The head was removed with other frag- ments from the exterior sarcophagus at his tomb in Thebes’ Gournet-Mour- rai by robbers in the nineteenth century, well before its official excavation and ‘discovery’ in 1937. This sculpture is the most important antiquity in Vassar’s collection. The hairstyle and beard demonstrate that the deceased has become divine through his assimilation by the god Osiris. On top of his cranium is written in hieroglyphics the message: “The words are spoken — I have surrounded my brother in Osiris, Merymose, whose limbs shall not be weary.” There are portions of Merymose’s granodiorite inter- mediate and interior sarcophagi in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the British Museum, London.