Raherka and Meresankh

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Raherka and Meresankh
Raherka and Merseankh-E 15592
Raherka and Merseankh-E 15592-IMG 9758-gradient.jpg
Year2350s BCE
Mediumlimestone, paint
Dimensions52.8 cm (20.8 in) × 17.6 cm (6.9 in) × 21.3 cm (8.4 in)
LocationRoom 635, display case 14, France Edit this at Wikidata
CollectionDepartment of Egyptian Antiquities of the Louvre Edit this on Wikidata
Accession No.E 15592 Edit this on Wikidata
Raherka and Meresankh in hieroglyphs
"she loves life"

Raherka and Meresankh (Raherka: "Ra = the Sun god" and Meresankh: "she loves life") is a group statue of an ancient Egyptian couple of the 4th dynasty or 5th dynasty.


Raherka held high administrative responsibilities. He was an "inspector of scribes of the jackal". Meresankh's title was "King's acquaintance", which means she had access to the royal palace.[2]


The couple is known from their beautiful pair-statue now in the Louvre (E 15592) which is an example of portraiture in Ancient Egypt. The statue is carved from limestone and is 52.8 centimetres (20.8 in) high. The husband and wife are carefully modeled with Raherka's figure showing musculature. The pair-statue is painted in multiple colors. The husband is rendered in the traditional red skin color used for males, while his wife Meresankh is painted in a yellow toned skin color which was standard for that time. The wigs and eyeliners are painted black.[2]

The statue of Raherka and Meresankh has been compared to that of the dwarf Seneb and his family. In both statues the wife is shown warmly embracing her husband.[3]

The German Egyptologists Hermann Junker had dated the pair statue to the end of the Old Kingdom, and it has been suggested that the statue dates to the 5th dynasty.[4] Others have suggested that the pose of the wife and the names point to the 4th dynasty.[5]

The statue was found in 1902 by Montague Ballard and probably comes from tomb D 37 which is located in the Steindorff cemetery in Giza. Fragments of another statue depicting a woman carrying a child were found just north of the tomb and are now in the Leipzig Museum (Inv. 2446).[1]


  1. ^ a b c Porter, Bertha and Moss, Rosalind, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Statues, Reliefs and Paintings Volume III: Memphis, Part I Abu Rawash to Abusir. 2nd edition; revised and augmented by Dr Jaromir Malek, 1974. Retrieved from gizapyramids.org
  2. ^ a b Raherka and Meresankh[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Strudwick, Helen The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Amber Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-904687-99-3, pp 262-263
  4. ^ Alexandra Bonfante-Warren, The Louvre, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 2000, p 57
  5. ^ Kunst des Alten Reiches:Symposium im Deutschen Archäologischen Institut Kairo, am 29. und 30. Oktober 1991, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut. Abteilung Kairo, P. von Zabern, 1995, pp 36-37