Head Of King Userkaf Summary

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Formal Visual Analysis of Head of King Userkaf The sculpture titled Head of King Userkaf is a naturalistic sculpture made from limestone in the likeness of King Userkaf, the first king to rule at the start of Dynasty five in Egypt1. The piece is rigid and broken at the base of the neck, suggesting that it is a fragment of the full original sculpture, which most likely would have included the king’s entire body. Additionally, cracks on the top part of the sculpture suggests that it had been broken in other places as well. One of the main physical attributes of the sculpture that indicates it is of a king is that he is wearing the iconic conical crown of Upper Egypt and the ceremonial beard. Based off some of these characteristics, one can tell a lot about the sculpture’s purpose, who may have owned it, and what it originally looked like. The Head of Userkaf is a relatively small piece, standing only approximately six inches tall. As stated previously, this sculpture is carved from limestone, a common, inexpensive type of rock. Limestone is not extremely hard like some stones (like diorite for example) which may account for why the sculpture was not found whole, but rather just the head. Also, there is a particularly severe crack along the top left part of the king’s crown, it appears as if it had been reattached after it was discovered. …show more content…
Whether through worship in a temple or respect in a home, it was probably meant to recognize and celebrate the king’s divinity. Such an object may have been attached to an alter along with other gods and goddesses and held ceremonial purposes. Another purpose to be considered would be the possibility that it was attached to a temple wall or placed in a temple built by King Userkaf. It may have been used in the context of a biographical story, meaning it would have accompanied hieroglyphics which told of the great king’s life, his might, and his

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