Statue Of Kaipunesut
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Statue of Kaipunesut
The Statue of Kaipunesut is quite ancient, as it can be dated back to the fourth dynasty present in the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The statue was mined and found at Saqqara, which is a vast land used for burials. The Statue Kaipunesut is a piece of art that was specifically found at mastaba of Kaemheset, mainly the brother of Kaipunesut. The Statue of Kaipunesut was created by an unknown artist in the ca. 2528-2520 B.C or even later than that. The sculpture is currently located in the Metropolitan Museum of the Art. This artifact is present in the 103 gallery of the museum under the number of 26.2.7. The sculpture is around 1.50 meters tall. It is interesting how the Statue of Kaipunesut is so unique that it both lives up to and does not fit the recommended criteria of the period style of the Ancient Egypt at the same time. The statue of Kaipunesut was found in 1922 by an individual named Cecil Firth and he mainly discovered it for the Egyptian Government. This paper will shed light on the Statue of Kaipunesut and its history in detail.
The Statue of Kaipunesut is quite the work of art and it helps look at how talented the great Egyptians were. The close inspection of the statue helps to see the intricate details, which helps understand the culture and era of the time it was built. When it comes to the carving of the statue, it was made out if the acacia wood. It is an interesting fact that acacia wood is a native timber, which is native to Egypt. Since the structure of the statue was so hempen and baffling, it was difficult to form it with the native timber, but the workers somehow materialized it (Kanawati). Generally, this wood was draped in different vivid colors. The organic structure of the statue was mainly a reddish or close to brown color. The structure and built of the Statue of Kaipunesut was preserved, but the color pigment faded away a long time ago.
On the belt of the statue, there is a carving that states that the sculpture was made by "the royal carpenter." This fact helps understand what kind of job the builder had. After looking at various statues and sculptures made by the Egyptians, the class system is evident. The structures that were made for the royalty had better quality and they were preserved very well. Subsequently, the way the word carpenter is affiliated with royalty also showcases influence and power. However, the sculptures of the poor people were not made out of good material and not a lot of thought was put in trying to preserve them. The Statue of Kaipunesut looks like an artifact that was made to last because of the effort made to preserve it. It also makes it obvious that the statue was made for the royalty.
The statue of Kaipunesut is kept in a glass. The closed enclosure protects the artifact so it stays preserved. The structure showcases the fact that there is no support or backrest. When it comes to the pose of the structure, it is quite formal. There is no such distance present in the body and the arms are near both sides of the body. The statue is facing forward, and it can be seen that there is some weight present on both of the legs. Coming to the face, the statue is supporting elongated lips and large circular eyes. The physique of the statue showcases an individual who has broad shoulders but the waist is quite slim. The fists, on the other hand, are significantly big. The drapery and belt of the statue are quite rigid and there is no flow to the attire. The reason behind this can be the fact that the Pharaohs and Kings necessitated perfection back in the day. There is no definition to the calf and it appears to be bulky. The knee of the statue looks natural but at the same time, it is stylized in an intricate manner.
The overall posture of Kaipunesut makes it evident that the statue is rigidly standing straight. There is a certain kind of masculinity to the statue as the arms are straight yet the hands are clenched. If any other Egyptian sculpture from that era is seen this kind of posture can be commonly seen (Kanawati). Most individuals stood rigidly straight when they got their statue’s made. It is interesting how a single artifact can tell so much about the social structure of an era. As mentioned above, it is quite evident that there was a class system in the Ancient Egypt. There was a certain hierarchy being followed. It is ironic how the Egyptian society was structured like the Pyramid. They placed God on top of the chain, however, there were certain humans; Pharaohs and King’s mainly who were elevated by the social system giving them the status of Gods. The Statue of Kaipunesut is of a Pharaoh or Egyptian Royalty.
The attire of the statue makes it evident that the person carrying it is from the upper social class. The social inequality is quite evident because the maker is not even given the leisure to write their name. The belt of the statue has only “the royal carpenter" written on it, which means that the main artist was only given the authority to write about their designation and occupation. As far as the trade is concerned, the wood, tools, color pigment that was used in the making of the statue make vocation evident. It can be seen that there definitely was a clear trade system via which the maker was able to procure the material needed to make the sculpture.
Further, looking into the structures and artifacts from the Egyptian era it can make it obvious that not a lot of poorer individuals of the time were given the spotlight. The rest of the statues similar to the Kaipunesut are mainly of royalty. Further, as far as the religious ideology is concerned, the Egyptians worshipped more than one God. The way they treated there Pharaohs makes it visible that their community followed the hierarchy and everyone on top of the chain was given the highest status. The Ancient Egypt worked on a power structure.
There is one aspect of the era that should be appreciated the most that is the presence of knowledge and education. There is no way that the Statue of Kaipunesut could be built by a layman. The maker had skill and command on what they were doing. The Carpenter was most definitely taught this skill (Smith, 299-326). The education can awareness can be seen evidently by the carvings on the belt of the statue, as the maker definitely was taught how to read, write and build. So, even at that time, a person could make their way to the King's castle by getting an education.
Coming to the bottom of the Ancient Egypt, it consisted mainly of farmers and salves. The individuals who were caught amid war were given the status of slaves. They were forced to work on various building projects given by the Pharaohs. The farmers mainly took care of the crops and animals, while the prisoners who had more to offer were given the task of building monuments and sculptures (Abdallah and Abdrabou). This hierarchy is evident in the designation of the carpenter. The farmers would save money and send their children to school and if an individual knew how to read and write they could make their way up to getting employed by the government. There is no doubt in the fact that bureaucracy demonstrated to be profitable.
There is no doubt in the fact that great artifacts have been discovered in the Egyptian domain and every one of them has proven to be a work of art. The same is the case with the statue of Kaipunesut. The sculpture is a work of art and has managed to baffle the world even today. The main idea and representation of the Egyptian culture are quite evident in the work of art. It is amusing how a single piece of art if observed intricately can reveal so much about the people of that era. The class system and trade can be seen evidently by the way the structure is built. There is one clear aspect that the ancient Egyptians were far ahead of their time given the structures that they had been making. The knowledge and education that they pertained are still amusing to many people even today. There are certain procedures that they followed that are still being studied and used even today. So, this fact makes it clear that the Ancient Egyptians left a lot of techniques behind which the contemporary world used as a foundation to progress and develop even more. The Statue of Kaipunesut is a great example of such a technique even in today’s world.
Kanawati, Naguib. "THE MASTABA OF KAIHAI–WHERE THE CEMETERIES OF WESERKAF AND TETI MEET." (2013).
Smith, Monica L. "Urbanism and the Middle Class: Co-Emergent Phenomena in the World’s First Cities." Journal of Anthropological Research 74.3 (2018): 299-326.
Abdallah, Medhat, and Ahmed Abdrabou. "TUTANKHAMEN'S SMALL SHRINES (NAOSES): TECHNOLOGY OF WOODWORKING AND IDENTIFICATION OF WOOD SPECIES." International Journal of Conservation Science 9.1 (2018).
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