Head of Khaemwaset



Head of Khaemwaset




1279-1213 BC


New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, Reign of Ramesses II


Black granite
13 x 9 x 4 1/2 in. (33 x 22.9 x 11.4 cm)

Object Number



This commanding face from a colossal statue undoubtedly belongs to Crown Prince Khaemwaset, the son and heir of Ramesses II. The scale and fine carving of the piece identify it as someone of great importance and the broad face is characteristic of the long reign of Ramesses the Great. The elaborately curled wig flares out just slightly on the right side, indicating where a side lock would be rendered. That hairstyle would identify the owner as High Priest of the god Ptah, an important office occupied by Khaemwaset.

Khaemwaset made many restorations to earlier monuments and for that he is sometimes called the "first archaeologist." Khaemwaset died before his father and did not accede to the throne. He was buried in a vast tomb complex at Saqqara. He became the hero of many later stories and legends, famous for his wisdom and accomplishments.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. Charles S. Ackerman and an anonymous donor


From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian and Classical Antiquities at Emory, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 14 - April 2, 2006|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2006 - Present
Sotheby's New York, Classical, Egyptian, and Western Asiatic Antiquities Including Property from the Collection of Gustave & Franyo Schindler, and Property from the Estate of Lillian Rojtman Berkman (Thursday, December 9, 2004), 116, number 306.|
MCCM Newsletter, March - May 2005.|
MCCM Newsletter, December 2005 - February 2006.|
Peter Lacovara and Jasper Gaunt, "From Pharaohs to Emperors: Egyptian, Near Eastern & Classical Antiquities at Emory," Minerva 17 (January/February 2006): 9-16.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 20-21.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
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On View



“Head of Khaemwaset,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 10, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/8035.

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