A masterpiece of Egyptian art, this statue has been identified as Meritamun, the daughter of Ramses II and his Great Wife. Although her name is missing here, the titles and epithets are the same as those on a statue of this princess (who became her father’s Great Wife after the death of her mother) found at Akhmim.
Meritamun wears here a number of accessories which display the royal fashion and style of Dynasty 19. Her crown (a “modius”) is formed by a wall of cobras with sun disks on their heads; she most likely originally had a tall headdress of two ostrich plumes with a sun disk atop her head. Around her forehead is a fillet fronted by two cobras, one wearing the crown of Upper Egypt and the other with the crown of Lower Egypt. Her elaborate tripartite wig, with each small lock carved separately, still retains some blue pigment.
Her wig leaves her ears exposed, revealing round earrings of gold. She also wears an intricate broad collar composed of five rows of beads in the shape of the hieroglyph nefer, meaning beautiful. Meritamun’s breasts are decorated with rosettes, and on her surviving left arm are two bracelets. In her hand, she holds an object called a menat necklace, used to make a rattling noise during sacred rituals. It is composed of rows of beads with a counterpoise, here in the shape of the goddess Hathor as a woman, associating the princess with the goddess. Meritamun’s surviving titles here include: “Player of the sistrum of Mut and the Menat of Hathor.”
Dynasty 19, reign of Ramesses II