Egypt Picture - Nurse of the Royal Children

Nurse of the Royal Children

Nurse of the Royal Children


Kenneth Garrett


Nurse of the Royal Children


This unusual statue, depicting a woman with four royal children, was found near Bubastis. It was discovered when a local man began digging foundations for a new house. The chief inspector of Bubastis, Louis Labieb Boles, sent in a team that carefully brought the statue out of the muddy ground in which it was lying. After being kept for several days in the nearby town of Zagazig for cleaning, the statue was brought to the Cairo Museum. The chief restorer and his staff spent three weeks cleaning and drying the statue, which was waterlogged from its sojourn in the wet ground of the delta.

The central figure of the statue shows a mature woman seated on a chair. With her are four royal children. Three of the children stand against her chest, and the fourth, a princess, sits across her lap. The statue was once painted, and traces of color still remain. Most striking are the metal and stone inlays that have survived the ravages of time. The pedestal had once been inscribed with a hieroglyphic text, but this has now been erased. The style of the carving and the details of clothing and hairstyle date this piece to the mid 18th dynasty, to the reign of Tuthmosis III or Amenhotep II. Egyptian scholar Mohammed Saleh compares it to a similar statue of Queen Huy, mother of the principal wife of Tuthmosis III, who is shown with her five grandchildren.

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