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Minmose the Miller. A Ramessid Serving Statue Preparing Incense (Berlin ÄM 24179)

مينموز الطحان. تمثال خَدَم لتحضير البخور من عصر الرعامسة (برلين ÄM 24179)

Elizabeth Frood
p. 137-170

Résumés

Publication d’un fragment de statue en granite rouge appartenant à Minmose, grand prêtre d’Onouris de la XIXe dynastie, et conservé à présent à l’Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussamlung de Berlin (ÄM 24179). La statue, qui se décrit comme étant un chabti, montre Minmose en meunier de grains, lesquels peuvent également être compris comme étant de l’encens. Une traduction préliminaire des textes de la statue est proposée, assortie de commentaires ; l’initiative a été rendue possible grâce aux travaux inédits entrepris par Jacques Jean Clère, dont les archives sont conservées au Griffith Institute à Oxford. Certaines implications de ces inscriptions, quand l’on envisage l’interprétation qu’il convient de donner à la forme et au contexte qui a présidé à la réalisation de la statue, sont également discutées.

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Texte intégral

I am grateful to Olivia Zorn for permission to publish this statue, and to her and Pia Lehmann for their support during my time in Berlin. Julia Hamilton assisted in the collation with characteristic care. My thanks to Francisco Bosch-Puche, Anne-Claire Salmas, and Cat Warsi for facilitating access to the archive records in the Griffith Institute. Simon Connor kindly allowed me to reproduce his reconstruction, and Yekaterina Barbash gave permission to include the photograph of Senenu. Thank you to Chiara Salvador who helped with the initial work on the archive materials and discussed drafts with me. Ellen Jones assisted with the squeezes in particular, including the creation of orthophotographs of some. I received productive feedback at an Ancient Egyptian Literature and Texts workshop in Cambridge in 2018, and from John Baines, Edwin Dalino, Angela McDonald, Jordan Miller, and Anthony Spalinger who read and commented invaluably on drafts, sometimes multiple times. Jordan, Chloé Agar, Caitlin Jensen, Solène Klein, and Helen Neale offered crucial assistance in preparing the manuscript. I also thank the anonymous reviewers for their important corrections and cautions.

  • 1  Clère Mss 16; Mss 26, ESTP 141–146, http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/archive/holdings/#c. See also ht (...)

1On 21 September 1964, Jacques Jean Clère visited the Egyptian collections held by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin in East Berlin. While there, he made copy texts and took photographs of a fragment of a red granite statue belonging to Minmose, high priest of Onuris in the reign of Ramesses II. That visit initiated Clère’s detailed study of the statue, the records of which are now held in the Griffith Institute, Oxford. These are the inspiration for, and foundation of, my presentation in this article.1 The fragment shows Minmose leaning forward over a milling emplacement, and is the only example of this type known to me from the Ramessid period (fig. 1).

Fig. 1. Milling statue of Minmose, front.

Fig. 1. Milling statue of Minmose, front.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

  • 2  A slip in the Griffith Institute archive relates his process of work, together with his wife Irèn (...)
  • 3  A slip accompanying the folder of paper and foil squeezes in Mss 26 records “141–146 = Meunier de (...)
  • 4  Jaromir Malek observes, in his biographical note for Clère (1995), that he belonged to the genera (...)

2Clère’s visit to Minmose in 1964 was the first of at least two, probably three. An Egyptology conference nearby in Leipzig allowed him to visit again on 18 May 1968. During that trip he finished and collated his copy texts, supplemented his photographs, and took squeezes using aluminium foil.2 At some later point he had the opportunity to make traditional paper squeezes.3 Clère’s meticulous work on the statue was never published, and his records came to the Griffith Institute among his papers donated in 1995.4 These also include a folder with worked up and occasionally annotated copy-texts (including fig. 2), a bibliography, and a plan of the layout of the inscriptions (fig. 3). A number of loose slips include research notes relating to the statue’s form, items of vocabulary, and bibliography. I cite this material below. I collated the statue in 2018, with the assistance of Julia Hamilton, who also took invaluable study photographs. An additional set of study photographs was kindly provided by Pia Lehmann.

  • 5  The museum database records that it was registered in January 1969 from previously unnumbered mat (...)
  • 6  E.g. Effland, Effland 2004; Dalino 2021a, II, pp. 354–362. Nor is it included in PM VIII or the e (...)
  • 7  Griffith Institute: Moss Nb. B.28, p. 46.

3The fragment is now in the collection of the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussamlung in Berlin (ÄM 24179); it is not on display. The context for its discovery and its arrival in the museum are unknown. A letter to Clère from Steffen Wenig, dated by the envelope’s postmark to 1971 and now among Clère’s papers, describes how the statue had been found without a number in a magazine and inventoried by Wenig a few years before with its current number.5 It has not been included in published lists or collections of objects known for Minmose,6 although it was recorded by Rosalind Moss as belonging to him in her notebook of Berlin objects compiled for the Topographical Bibliography during her visit to the museum in September 1964.7

4Other events in the statue’s biography are visible on its surface; the underside of the base is blackened in two strips, probably caused by the burning of the wooden pallet on which it was resting when the museum was bombed in World War II. The burnt areas also extend up the rear half of the right side of the base, making the inscription in this area difficult to read. The conflagration resulted in numerous heat-cracks running through the body. At some point after Clère’s collation, the upper corner of the quern on the statue’s left side was found and restored to its position; it included an area of inscription.

Fig. 2. Hand copy of the inscriptions on the milling statue of Minmose by Jacques Jean Clère.

Fig. 2. Hand copy of the inscriptions on the milling statue of Minmose by Jacques Jean Clère.

© Griffith Institute, University of Oxford

Fig. 3. Plan of the inscriptions on the milling statue of Minmose by Jacques Jean Clère.

Fig. 3. Plan of the inscriptions on the milling statue of Minmose by Jacques Jean Clère.

© Griffith Institute, University of Oxford

  • 8  I am grateful to Simon Connor and Carl Elkins for helping me to model size.
  • 9  E.g. Clère 1968; Clère 1995, pp. 73–80, doc. A; Effland, Effland 2004; Effland, Effland 2013, pp. (...)

5Although only the lower part of the statue survives and is very damaged, it is certain that it originally showed Minmose standing, leaning forward over a quern to grind grain (fig. 4). It therefore belongs to the small group of New Kingdom serving statues that show high-ranking individuals grinding grain. Most of them have been dated to the second half of the 18th Dynasty. Measuring 33 cm in length, and with a maximum surviving height of 24 cm, Minmose’s is the largest known example, perhaps with an original height of about 38 cm; his figure would have been approximately one third life-size.8 The selection of this seemingly unusual form and the decision to commission it on such a scale and in red granite, a valuable hard-stone, is characteristic for Minmose, who is known for his diverse and distinctive monumental self-presentations.9

Fig. 4. Reconstruction drawing of the milling statue of Minmose, based on the Brooklyn statue of Senenu, by Simon Connor.

Fig. 4. Reconstruction drawing of the milling statue of Minmose, based on the Brooklyn statue of Senenu, by Simon Connor.

1. Miller statues in the 18th Dynasty

  • 10  Jørgensen 1998, p. 194.
  • 11  With Gabolde 2004, p. 233.
  • 12  Summaries are also given in Bovot 2007; Gabolde 2004; Schneider 1977, I, pp. 216–218.

6Fourteen New Kingdom statues, including that of Minmose, show their owners as millers. Most of the other thirteen have been dated—by style, prosopography, and/or object type—to the late 18th Dynasty, particularly the reign of Amenhotep III. Mogens Jørgensen suggested an early 19th Dynasty date for the now anonymous statue in Copenhagen,10 but I consider late 18th Dynasty more likely for that piece on the basis of its stylistic similarity to the others in the group.11 Table 1 summarises preliminary information; the bibliographies given in the footnotes are mostly limited to recent discussions and ones that include further photographs and references.12

Table 1. Summary data for the New Kingdom miller statues.

Current location Owner Titles Date Material Dimensions (cm) Pose
Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung ÄM 24179 mn-msw m-nr-tpy jnr Ramesses II red granite L. 33; H. max. 24; W. 22.5. standing
Cairo, Egyptian Museum CG 763a jmn-tp jmy-rȝ pr-wr, snjsw Amenhotep III limestone L. 17.5; H. 10.5. prostrate; kneeling right knee, extended left leg
Cairo, Egyptian Museum CG 1256b nfr-r X Amenhotep III black granite L. 13. prostrate; kneeling left knee, extended right leg
Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek AEIN 1548c X (lost) X (lost) Amenhotep III limestone L. 19; H. 10. prostrate; kneeling left knee, extended right leg
Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden AST 30ad mry-mry sȝwty pr-ḥḏ Amenhotep III sandstone L. 20; H. 13.5; W. 6.2. prostrate, kneeling left leg, right leg extended
Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden AST 30be mry-mry sȝwty pr-ḥḏ Amenhotep III sandstone L. 20.3; H. 13.5; W. 7.2. prostrate, kneeling right leg, left leg extended
Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden AST 52f mry-mry sȝwty pr-ḥḏ Amenhotep III limestone L. 19; H. 9; W. 6. prostrate, both legs extended
Marseille, Musée d’Archéologie Méditerranéenne de la Vielle-Charité 366g tj-nt-tp-jw mt-njsw wrt Thutmose IV limestone L. 15.5; H. 16.4; W. 6.3. standing
New York, Brooklyn Museum 37.120Eh snnw s-njsw Thutmose IV-Amenhotep III limestone L. 19.2; H. 18; W. 8. standing
New York,
Brooklyn Museum 37.125Ei
sȝ-Ȝst s-njsw Thutmose IV-Amenhotep III unalloyed copper L. 10.2; H. 9.2; W. 4. kneeling, upright
Paris, Louvre  E 2749j ḏḥwty-ms sȝ-njsw sm Amenhotep III siltstone L. 10.5; H. 5; W. 2.8. prostrate, kneeling left leg, right leg extended
Paris, Louvre  E 13578k pt-ms wrrpmww pt Thutmose III-Amenhotep III steatite L. 7.5; H. 3.6; W. 2.5. prostrate, both legs kneeling?
Vatican, Museo Gregoriano Egizio, Inv. 19143 (1280)l jmn-tp jmy-rȝ pr wr Amenhotep III red quartzite L. 19.5; H. 11; W. 4. prostrate, kneeling right leg, left leg extended
Unknownm pt-ms wrrpmww pt Amenhotep III limestone ? prostrate, kneeling left leg, right leg extended
a.  PM III2, p. 703; Borchardt 1930, pp. 78–79, pl. 141; Urk. IV, 1811, 6–13. This statue was examined by Clère in 1964 and collated in 1976. His notes are in the Griffith Institute: Clère Mss 16. The Vatican statue in this list probably belongs to the same Amenhotep, see below.
b.  PM VIII, p. 628, 801-645-060; Borchardt 1934, p. 132, pl. 174. I follow Gabolde’s (2004, p. 234) suggestion for the date, based on the statue’s similarity to the millers of Amenhotep and Djehutymose.
c.  PM VIII, p. 628, 801-645-80; Jørgensen 1998, pp. 194–195, no. 74 (incl. colour photographs). See my comment above for the dating. The inscriptions in black paint on the sides of the base, which presumably would have given the owner’s name and title, were already illegible when the statue was in the collection of Dr. John Lee, Hartwell House (England; later acquired by Lord Amherst): Bonomi 1858, pp. 50–51.
d.  PM III2, pp. 705–706 (and for notes 17–18 below); https://www.rmo.nl/​collectie/​collectiezoeker/​collectiestuk/​?object=22448; Giovetti, Picchi 2016, p. 264, cat. no. V.24, with Staring 2016a, pp. 528–529. Alongside his miller statues, Merymery is the owner of three other shabtis also now in Leiden: Giovetti, Picchi 2016, pp. 264–265, cat. nos. V.25–V.26, with p. 529.
e.  https://www.rmo.nl/​collectie/​collectiezoeker/​collectiestuk/​?object=1701.
f.  https://www.rmo.nl/​collectie/​collectiezoeker/​collectiestuk/​?object=22309; usually identified as female: e.g. Warmenbol 1999, p. 90, cat. 74; Schneider 1977, I, p. 217; Staring 2016a, p. 529.
g.  PM VIII, p. 714, 801-681-280; Gabolde 2004.
h.  PM I2, pp. 783–784; https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/​opencollection/​objects/​3969; James 1974, p. 119, no. 270, pl. 69–70; fig. 5 here. Marc Gabolde (2004, p. 234) tentatively suggests that the owner might be the same as that of a Senenu (no title), father of a Nebansu, whose Saqqara stela dates to the reign of Amenhotep III. This would place Senenu earlier, probably in the reign of Thutmose IV. He considers that this date is supported by features of the figure’s style.
i.  PM III2, p. 721; https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/​opencollection/​objects/​116840; James 1974, p. 120, no. 271, pl. 70; Hill 2007, pp. 28–29, figs. 15–16; also p. 203, cat. no. 11; Pasquali 2011, p. 90, B.57. Gabolde (2004, p. 234) raises the possibility, from an assessment of style, that its date might be later, just a little before the reign of Amenhotep IV.
j.  PM VIII, p. 629, 801-645-250; https://collections.louvre.fr/​ark:/53355/​cl010005718; Bovot 2003a, pp. 217–219; Dodson 1990.
k.  https://collections.louvre.fr/​ark:/53355/​cl010029046; Bovot 2003a, p. 213; Bovot 2003b, pp. 25, 49, 84, cat. no. 76; Bovot 2007, pp. 34–38. The head is lost, but there are traces of a sidelock. I follow the dating given in the museum’s online database, which is based on style.
l.  PM VIII, p. 629, 801-645-280 (as sandstone); Grenier 1996, pp. 44–45.
m.  PM III2, pp. 712–713; Gardiner 1906.
  • 26   Merymery: PM III2, pp. 705–706; Staring 2016a, p. 529. Amenhotep: PM III2, pp. 702–703; Helck 19 (...)
  • 27  Koefoed-Petersen 1950, p. 26; Gabolde 2004, p. 233, n. 40.
  • 28  James 1974, pp. 119–120, probably following Breasted 1948, pp. 23–24. Siese’s tomb was at Abydos: (...)

7None of these statues has an archaeological provenance. The Leiden group of Merymery and the Cairo and Vatican statues of Amenhotep (Huy) almost certainly came from their lost Saqqara tombs.26 A similar assumption is made for the two statues of the high priests of Ptah, both called Ptahmose, on the basis of their titles. The Copenhagen statue is also presumed to be a high priest of Ptah because his sidelock and panther skin would signify a Memphite provenance.27 T.G.H. James proposed a Saqqara provenance to the copper statue of Siese, and Thebes for Senenu.28

  • 29  With Warmenbol 1999, p. 90, no. 74. Also Schneider 1977, I, p. 293, with Berlandini 1994, p. 401, (...)
  • 30  Grenier 1996, pp. 44–45. Also Gabolde 2004, p. 233. Two of the Leiden statues of Merymery, AST 30 (...)

8Most of the statues are small, around 20 cm in length or less, and carved in soft stone: limestone, sandstone, or steatite. Even the hard-stone statues of Neferhor (black granite) and Amenhotep (red quartzite) could be held in one hand. The majority show their owners in an elongated kneeling pose, almost prostrate, with one knee bent and the other extended. Their hands are usually held out in front of them and hold handstones on low emplacements or saddle querns. Variations include one of the Leiden statues which is completely prostrate, with both legs extended; this posture may evoke Nut, who is named in the inscription on the statue’s left side.29 The Vatican statue holds an offering table bearing three bread loaves rather than a quern. Jean-Claude Grenier convincingly suggested that it might have been one of a pair with the Cairo miller statue of Amenhotep; together they show both the process of grinding and the finished products.30 Only the Brooklyn statue of Senenu and the Marseille statue of Tanettepihu show the owner standing in a pose similar to that of Minmose’s fragmentary statue. Senenu’s statue, with its straight legs and relatively upright posture, is the closest surviving parallel (fig. 5), although Minmose’s would have been over a third larger than Senenu’s.

Fig. 5. Milling statue of Senenu (Brooklyn Museum 37.120E). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.

Fig. 5. Milling statue of Senenu (Brooklyn Museum 37.120E). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
  • 31  Gardiner 1906, p. 55.
  • 32  For this element, see Schneider 1977, I, pp. 131–133 (reading as “the illuminated one” or “the on (...)

9The inscriptions on the majority of the statues are relatively concise, usually deploying or evoking elements of the shabti spell in the Book of the Dead (BD 6); this is the text visible on the side of the emplacement of the now lost statue of Ptahmose, in the line drawing published by Alan H. Gardiner.31 The sḥḏ element associated with this spell precedes the owner’s name on the statues of Djehutymose, Neferhor, the lost Ptahmose, and the Vatican statue of Amenhotep.32 Neferhor’s statue also includes the invocation “O shabti” on both sides of the base.

  • 33  Schneider 1977, III, p. 109, 3.2.9.53.2.9.7 (transcriptions).
  • 34  Urk. IV, 1811, 10.

10Two of the three Leiden statues of Merymery assert the statue’s identity and role in relation to the gods in phrasing comparable to elements found on Minmose’s statue: “I am the miller (nḏw) for Osiris, the servant (ḥm) of Nut.”33 The left side of the base of the Cairo statue of Amenhotep bears a similar text: “I am the miller (nḏw) of divine offerings for Wenennefer of Rosetau.”34 The Louvre statue of Djehutymose connects this act of divine service with incense, a theme also present in one of Minmose’s texts (discussed further below).

  • 35  James 1974, pl. 70, 271a–g; Schneider 1977, I, p. 295. A damaged inscription in four columns on t (...)
  • 36  James 1974, pl. 70, 270d.
  • 37  James 1974, pl. 70, 270e; Schneider 1977, I, pp. 91–94 for IIIa.
  • 38  James 1974, pl. 69, 270a–c; Schneider 1977, I, p. 294. The theme of supplication resonates with t (...)

11Both Brooklyn statues bear extensive inscriptions, and these offer some parallels for Minmose’s texts. The surface of Siese’s statue is degraded, making the texts inscribed over the body difficult to read, but what is legible has parallels in BD 6, with reference to being “[summoned] on any commission” and “reckoned”.35 Senenu’s statue bears three distinct sets of inscriptions. On the curved upper surface of the emplacement is the standard formulation (reading from the statue’s left to right) requesting that “everything that comes forth from the offering table of Osiris Lord of Rosetau be for the ka of” Senenu.36 The text in three lines on the top of the front of the base and continuing in three lines on its front face is a variant of BD 6 (Schneider’s IIIa): “If one assigns, if one reckons the royal scribe Senenu in the necropolis to undertake all the work that is performed there … ‘I will do it, here I am’, so you will say.”37 The longest text on the statue begins on its right side, in eight columns, then wraps around the rear of the base in a single horizontal line, continuing in a further eight columns on the left side. This text comprises a speech of supplication addressed to “the tribunal of Rosetau”, including oaths and statements of Senenu’s worthiness as one favoured by the king and as one who performed temple duties “ceaselessly”.38

  • 39  Schneider 1977, I, p. 293; Roth 2002, pp. 119–120.
  • 40  Jean-Luc Bovot (2003a, p. 219) gives a succinct summary of some early interpretations for the New (...)
  • 41  Nyord 2017, pp. 338–349.
  • 42  Nyord 2017, p. 346.

12As the latest in the group, Minmose’s statue is a revival of a revival. The 18th Dynasty statues have been understood as inspired by Old Kingdom serving statue types,39 and this is probably at least one facet of their meaning. Where the titles of owners of the 18th Dynasty statues are known, they are very high-ranking, from members of the royal family to high stewards, so the selection of this “shabti” form is something like a travesty of the older model for those where the miller is to be identified with the owner. The supposed paradox of this identification with the shabti’s duty to undertake unpleasant work on the owner’s behalf, as his or her substitute, has been much discussed.40 Rune Nyord analyses this for early shabtis in terms of distinctions in image function between “presentification”—a term compatible with conventional ideas of especially monumental self-presentation, in which the referent is made manifest through the image in particular formal contexts—and “substitution”.41 He considers that “the tension between these two experiences of the image is most likely quite fundamental in the nature of the figurine”.42 This tension, which is made explicit through the form of Minmose’s statue and in the content of some of the inscriptions, is discussed further below.

2. Minmose milling

13The surviving fragment of Minmose’s statue comprises the base and the lower part of a figure that was standing and leaning over a grinding stone and its emplacement. Of the figure’s body, only the damaged forearms, hands, and the lower parts of the legs survive. The fingers and thumbs are distinctly carved but with no indication of fingernails. The tips of the fingers show loss and wear, and the little finger and thumb of the left hand are largely broken away. The forearms rest on a raised, roughly rectangular saddle quern (maximum length: 17 cm; just under 10 cm wide). A handstone with rounded edges is indicated underneath the hands. The quern terminates in a triangular point in front of the handstone. The surface of this part of the quern is incised in a grid pattern to indicate the substance the figure is grinding (fig. 6).

  • 43  The museum number is written in red on the side of Minmose’s right foot.

14The legs, positioned side-by-side, are broken away just above the knee on the right and below the knee on the left, surviving as column-like shapes with a maximum height of 11 cm and width of 6 cm. There are no traces of a kilt line that might parallel the long kilt on the Brooklyn statue of Senenu. Minmose’s feet are only schematically rendered, in contrast to, for example, Senenu’s, which include toenails and are freed from the negative space.43 Faint traces of the modelling of the knee on the right leg are visible.

Fig. 6. Milling statue of Minmose, top.

Fig. 6. Milling statue of Minmose, top.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

  • 44  Lang 2016, p. 281.

15The quern rests on a roughly rectangular emplacement that is angled away from the figure, a composition that is conventional for the activity of grinding grain.44 When complete the figure would have lent forward over this surface in a position very similar to the Brooklyn statue of Senenu (figs. 4–5). The slope of the quern emplacement is sharply angled in comparison to the curved top of the emplacement of Senenu’s. The base of the statue is roughly rectangular, measuring, at maximum, a little over 30 cm in length by 22 cm in width, with a height of 7 cm. The front of the base extends just over 7 cm forward from the quern emplacement.

16Apart from the loss of the upper part of the figure itself, two large areas from each corner of the front of the base are broken away. A significant gouge out of the right back and side of the quern emplacement has destroyed most of the column of inscription to the right of the statue’s legs, as well as at least one hieroglyphic group from the inscription on the right of the emplacement. There are patches of surface loss on the top of the base’s rear, on top of the right side of the emplacement, the statue’s forearms, and the area between the forearms and the hands, as well as surface loss associated with some of the heat-cracks running through the whole.

3. Texts: provisional readings

  • 45  The JSesh transcriptions observe reading direction. Columns are indicated by arrows. Full, but co (...)

17Almost every available and appropriate surface of the statue bears inscription. I divide these into six discrete groups (A–F); these differ from Clère’s organisation as indicated in fig. 3. Because of the damage and the lack of parallels for some of the texts, the order of reading, and how one area of text relates to another, is often not clear. My suggestions below are tentative.45 The challenges first Clère and then I faced are compounded by those presumably faced by the statue’s designer(s) and creators who had to organise long and complex texts, some of which seem not to have had established models, onto an unconventional form.

Text A 

[figs. 2, 6; Clère’s A1 and A2]

18Traces of two columns of hieroglyphs fill the space between the forearms, giving Minmose’s titles and name, and those of his father, merging into a single column at the level of the wrists; here the inscriptions share “Onuris” and “Hori”. There are traces of a vertical line separating the two columns of inscription, ending just above the nose of the jackal sign in sȝb. To the right of the quern, on the top surface of the emplacement, Minmose’s filiation continues with the name of his mother in a single, wide column reading right to left, following the orientation of the inscription between the hands (↓←):

Image

1… [… ẖrj-tp-njsw]a
ḥm-nṯr tpy n jnḥr ḥrj
2… [mn-]msb sȝ sȝb
ḥm-nṯr tpy n jnḥr ḥrj
(empl. top)ms.n jnty
… [… chamberlain,]

high priest of Onuris Hori;
… [Min]mose, son of the gentleman,
high priest of Onuris Hori,
whom Inty bore.

  • 46  Dalino 2021a, I, pp. 117–118: Hori’s known titles are: sȝb, ḥm-nṯr tpy n jnḥr, jmy-js n šw tfnt, (...)
  • 47  Also: Wb III, 396, 2; TLA 450367. I am grateful to Dilwyn Jones for sharing his preliminary dossi (...)

19a Clère’s restoration of this group (fig. 2) is convincing, even though this title is not otherwise attested for Minmose’s father, Hori, nor for Minmose himself.46 It is often preceded by sẖ-njsw (e.g. al-Ayedi 2006, p. 464; KRI III, 182, 15; 306, 4; VII, 114, 13; Roeder 1924, pp. 80–81), a title Minmose does hold. The traces here are difficult to read, but I agree with much of what Clère transcribed, although the sign he read as tp is now more rounded than the form of that sign elsewhere on the statue. The traces do not fit ẖrj-ḥbt-ḥrj-tp, “chief lector priest”, a title Minmose also bears (e.g. Wolze 2019, pp. 1327–1328, fig. 3b). A horizontal line appears to extend from the baseline of Image , suggestive of the top of ḥb, but the spacing between the signs and position of sw are incompatible. If ẖrj-tp-njsw is correct, the relative rarity of the title in the later New Kingdom may suggest that it was chosen here because of its associations, perhaps as an ancient ranking title. For example, Briant Bohleke (2002, pp. 159–160) suggests on the basis of rare attestations in the reign of Amenhotep III that it was revived in connection with that king’s sed-festivals.47

20b Minmose’s name can be restored here from the traces of the staff as one of the well-attested cryptographic writings of his name. It is difficult to model the amount of inscription lost above these two columns of titles. The Brooklyn statue of Senenu has a significant amount of uninscribed negative space curving up to the body (fig. 5). A comparable area on Minmose’s statue might have borne at least one further group before his name, perhaps one or two titles.

Text B

[figs. 1–2, 6–7; Clère’s A3]

21On the upper surface of the emplacement, on the statue’s left side, is a column of inscription, continuing into a second “column” with the seated man hieroglyph. A framing line separating the two inscriptions runs the full length of the quern. This inscription seems to continue onto the front of the block, where it fills the available space in two lines, together with three lines on top of the base. However, a possible different organisation of reading for these texts is discussed below.

Fig. 7. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, front.

Fig. 7. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, front.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

Image (↓←)

Image

Image

(empl. top 1)ḏd.f jw rdj.n.j šbty (empl. top 2).ja
(empl. front 1)m st.j r bȝkbḥtp-nṯr
jr ʿš.tw r n(empl. front 2)w nb
tw.j ẖr sḏrtc
mn.tj m tȝ-ḏsr

(base top 1)[… mn-ms]d
ḏd.f wȝḥ rʿ wȝḥ kȝ n jtn.f
wȝḥ šw w[ȝḥ …]
(base top 2)[… …]e nḏw snṯr
jw m jrt.n.j
[ca. 3 groups lost]

(base top 3)[ca. 3 groups lost] ḏdw(t).j
jw pd.j ḥr tȝ
m-
[bȝḥ?f ca. 3 groups lost]

He says: “I set up my shabti
in my place in order to produce the divine offering;
if one calls at any time,g
I am sleeping,
remaining in the sacred land.”h

[… Minmose,]
he said: “As Re endures, as the ka of his disc endures,
as Shu endures, as […] endures,i
[… …] miller of incense,
being what I did (myself)(?)”j [ca. 3 groups lost]

“[ca. 3 groups lost] my speech(?).
I stretch out on the groundk
[before(?)] [ca. 3 groups lost]”

22a This corner was restored after Clère collated the statue. The second oblique stroke is damaged, and the break runs through the standing undifferentiated determinative, but the reading is certain. The orthography of “shabti” is within the range of attested variants (see discussion below).

23b A heat-crack through this group has resulted in some loss, but the handle of k is clear, so the reading is certain. An inscription that runs around the side of the emplacement of the Brooklyn miller statue of Siese includes Image bȝkw.k mn, which may read something like “your works enduring …”, but the wider context is obscure to me (James 1974, pl. 70, text c).

24c The determinative for sḏr is schematically rendered with only the coiled tail of the lion and a line for what is probably the false beard of the sleeper as diagnostic features. There is no clear indication of the body of the sleeper (confirmed by Clère’s squeezes in Mss 26, especially ESTP 144). Simone Gerhards (2021, p. 178) notes that this determinative is rare but attested in the late New Kingdom, citing an example from the reign of Ramesses II and Abydos; for the formulation see note h below.

25d If this inscription started at the now lost left edge of the statue base, there is space for two groups, probably one of Minmose’s titles and his name. Traces of two horizontal lines are visible in front of Image , as indicated in Clère’s copy-text (fig. 2). Their spacing suggests the upper part of the Min standard. If correct, his name would be written here with the egg for ms.

26e The traces here are problematic. Clère suggested Image just in front of the break, and a sign of this form is possible, but I cannot offer a plausible reading for it. It seems more likely that this is a poorly formed Image , thus the first sign of nḏw “miller”, with the circular sign immediately following as Image (compare the form of nw in line 2 of emplacement front). Within the range of orthographies attested for this word (Wb II, 370, 11–12; TLA 90890), this would be an extended but not implausible writing. A point of comparison is the Cairo miller statue of Amenhotep: Image  (Urk. IV, 1811, 10). However this first sign may be interpreted, in the absence of parallels it is difficult to suggest restorations for what precedes. There is a trace of a curved line, which probably precludes reading the seated man of jnk. At minimum, probably two groups are lost. It is also possible to suggest nḏ.j snṯr but the breaks make a final decision on reading difficult.

27f The m, although partially broken away, is clear. Traces of a horizontal sign beneath are consistent with Image , as well as parallel phrasing in P. Harris I (see note k below), hence the suggestion; other readings are possible.

28g This phrase seems an elliptical variation of the summons in BD 6, especially Hans D. Schneider’s versions III–V, along the lines of: “If one reckons, if one calls to do any work… at any time” (1977, I, pp. 91–110, with III, figs. 3–5). For ʿš, “to call, summon”, in these contexts, see Schneider 1977, I, p. 141, element 6, and compare Text F below.

  • 48  My thanks to Simone Gerhards for discussion.

29h An inscription on the torso of the Brooklyn statue of Siese is similar in formulation: “If [I am summoned?] on any commission, I am sleeping, remaining … (jr [n]js.[tw.j?] m wpwt nbt tw.j ẖr [s]ḏr mn.tj …)” (James 1974, pl. 70, no. 271b). Schneider, following James, renders “sleeping in death” (Schneider 1977, I, p. 295), understanding mn.tj as the euphemism “mooring”, but the book-roll determinative here and in Minmose’s text does not point toward this. For the development of the tw.j subject pronoun in the earlier 18th Dynasty, but relevant to Siese, see Stauder 2016. Schneider closes the passage on Siese’s statue with “(then) you shall be counted off (?), O shabti”, although I have not been able to confirm his reading. These formulations, on both statues, are distinctive, literally something like “being under, bearing, sleep”, hence my durative translation; they are not included in Gerhards 2021, but are in keeping with her analysis of sleep as a controlling external force bearing down on the sleeper (esp. pp. 235, 266–267).48 A directive to the shabti following this statement would be appropriate to more conventional formulations of BD 6 (e.g. Schneider 1977, I, pp. 91–93). On the present statue it seems to be followed by an oath voiced by Minmose and/or the statue itself; see next note.

30i A parallel for this oath is an inscription on the right side of the emplacement of the Brooklyn statue of Senenu, in a supplication to the tribunal of Rosetau: “As Re lives for you in the sky, and as Osiris is ruler of eternity, you will fulfil the request about which I have come (ʿnḫ n.tn rʿ m ḥrt wsjr m ḥqȝ nḥḥ kȝ jr.tn sprt jj(t).n(.j) ḥr.s)” (James 1974, pl. 69, no. 270a; Schneider 1977, I, p. 294). The context for Minmose’s oath is unclear because of damage, but the allusion to speech in its final line evokes something similar to Senenu’s address, perhaps pledging the statue’s duty to act for the gods in producing incense.

31j I suggest that this formulation, and the parallel in text C below, mixes a Late Egyptian circumstantial jw with the relative form, which works well in the overall context of both passages. It could be possible to read as jw.f m sḏm with omitted personal pronoun, “acting for myself”.

32k Reading as a Late Egyptian circumstantial may also be possible: “after I stretched out”. The phrase alludes to the statue’s pose and is appropriate to the more prostrate poses of other New Kingdom miller statues. In P. Harris I, pd ḥr tȝ describes statuettes of the king, prostrate “in your presence, bearing divine offerings (m-bȝḥ.k ẖr ḥtpw-nṯr)” (Grandet 1994, I, pp. 262 (28, 10), 288 (48, 4); II, pp. 28–29, n. 128, p. 125, n. 510). Examples of such statuettes gathered by Henry George Fischer (1956; 1957; with Baines 2023) are elements of cult equipment, particularly censers and incense containers, a connection perhaps also relevant for Minmose, see below. The text on the right side of Senenu’s statue, discussed in the preceding note, evokes the same idea with a different formulation: “I have come in supplication, having come and placed myself upon my belly, that what I said may be heard as the supplication of a servant to his lord (jj.n(.j) m spr(t) jw dj wj ḥr ẖt.j sḏm.tw ḏdt.n(.j) m sprt nt bȝk n nb.f)” (James 1974, pl. 69, no. 270a; Schneider 1977, I, p. 294).

Text C

[figs. 2, 6, 8; Clère’s A4 and C]

33On the statue’s right, on the upper surface of the emplacement, is a line of hieroglyphs, with framing line, that reads from the front of the statue toward the rear. This text begins with a prepositional phrase, either continuing from the title strings and filiation that run between the hands (A) or acting as a continuation of the column that describes the giving of “my shabti” (B). I then continue the reading with the inscription on the vertical side of the emplacement (Clère’s C in fig. 3, with fig. 8).

Fig. 8. Milling statue of Minmose, right.

Fig. 8. Milling statue of Minmose, right.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

Image

(empl. top 1)ḫft-ḥr nb nḥḥ
jr.n.j n.j twt(?)ar qjw.jb
x+1jw m jrt.n.j tp-tȝ
x+2jw mȝ.n.j md jrt
m-ḥȝt sȝ Ȝst ȝḫc x+3nṯrw
ntf dj n.j tp-rd nfr ẖnm.j swd

[Minmose… whom Inty bore, is/I placed my shabti] before the lord of eternity,
having made for myself a figure(?) according to my character,
as what I did (myself) while on earth.
I saw with (my own) eye(?)e
in front of the son of Isis, effective one of the gods(?);
it is he who gave to me perfect instruction,f so that I may join with him.

34a Clère tentatively suggested reading Image as twt, which I follow here and discuss further below.

35b Reading qjw.j, “my character, reputation”, seems certain despite the damage (with the plural strokes marking an abstraction, the qj-ness of Minmose; see discussion below). What seems to be a stroke next to q might be intended for a reed leaf. The head and beard of the determinative are closely comparable to the determinative for shabti on the top of the emplacement (text B), although the rest of the hieroglyph’s body is lost. The plural strokes and the head and rear arm of the seated man are clear. It is very unlikely that any further signs are missing after qjw; the upper corner of the emplacement is largely lost, but a small area of uninscribed original worked surface survives to the left. Comparison with the same area on the right indicates that inscription would not be expected here.

36c A small trace of a sign, perhaps , is visible behind the head of the ibis. Clère thought t more likely. It is possible that nothing further is lost. The epithet “effective one of the gods” is attested in the New Kingdom (LGG I, p. 25), as a designation for Thoth (Osing 1992, p. 75 with n. p, pl. 44) and for Horus (Luft 2010, pp. 352, 358; with Luft 2008: trans: “Lebenskraft der Gotter”). However, there is perhaps room enough for another sign, such as the papyrus roll as determinative for ȝḫ. Of the epithets gathered in the LGG for Horus in the New Kingdom and constituted with nṯrw/nṯrj, none would fit the available space in their conventional orthographies.

37d The quail chick is compressed to fit into the end of the emplacement. Space constraints may also explain the use of the stroke for the first-person suffix pronoun, as in the line above. Variation between a stroke and seated man for the first-person is also attested, for example, on the Louvre statue of the high priest of Osiris Wenennefer, originally set up at Abydos (KRI III, 452, esp. ll. 12–15).

38e This passage is problematic. My tentative rendering, understood with an abbreviated orthography due to spacing, is comparable to the prepositional phrase m jrt, expressive of, for example, witnessing divine presence in hymns (Grässler 2017, pp. 248–249). “I have seen together with the one who acts” might be possible, introducing another actor, perhaps a priest.

39f Another possibility is to understand a prepositional phrase here, reading with the alternative rendering given in the note above: “… one who acts … for his father (n jt.f), the one who gave me perfect instruction.” This would be in keeping with the prominence of metaphors connected with fatherhood on the statue (see discussion below).

Text D 

[figs. 2, 9–10; Clère’s D and G]

40The left side of the quern emplacement is inscribed in three lines. Beginning with Minmose’s name and filiation, this passage appears to be discrete, rather than continuing any of the surrounding texts. It continues in a fourth line that runs along the top of the left side of the base (Clère’s G, fig. 10).

Fig. 9. Milling statue of Minmose, left.

Fig. 9. Milling statue of Minmose, left.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

Fig. 10. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, left.

Fig. 10. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, left.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

Image

Image

Image

1mn-ms jr.n 2ḥrj ms.n jnty
pȝ ȝba 3jmnt tȝ-wr
st md.kb ḫr.sc m nšmt
jw.k ẖnm(base top).tw m nȝyw tȝ-ḏsr
ḫtjw šmsw ḥrd

Minmose,e begotten by Hori, whom Inty bore,
the one who desires the West of Tawer;f
she is with you, so she says(?),g in the neshmet-barque,
for you are joining up with those of the sacred land,
the attendants, the followers of Horus.

41a The more recent restoration of this corner allows suggestions for readings that were unavailable to Clère. The head, neck, and outstretched wing confirm , and ȝb is also certain (see further note f below).

42b These two groups, together with ḫr.s, are affected by a gouge running through the lower signs. I suggest the third person singular feminine pronoun as subject (the West) of an adverbial sentence. Another possibility is that st is a mistaken transcription from hieratic of determinatives of Tawer, giving something like: “The one who desires the West of Tawer is with you.” In all these readings, another speaker must be understood, perhaps a son, addressing Minmose as the one who desires. The basket is pushed slightly out of position beneath md, probably for reasons of spacing; the left corner of the sign is lost, but the reading fits in context (with Clère).

43c The two vertical strokes of s are visible (with Clère). The other possible reading as a papyrus scroll does not make sense in this context.

44d Only the head of a bird survives, probably the Horus falcon. There would be space for a divine determinative after this sign and before the beginning of the inscription that runs across the top of the base at the front (text B); but more plausibly this text closes with the falcon.

45e Minmose’s name is not preceded by titles here. The inclusion of a full filiation suggests this is not due to space considerations. It may be a way of denoting an identification with the milling role of the statue, complementing what might be a statement about the statue in this position on the other side of the emplacement (text C: see discussion).

  • 49  LGG I, pp. 8–9. Leitz et al. include neither this precise formulation nor any that refers to Abyd (...)

46f Although the divine epithet “desired one (ȝb) of place-X” is well attested in the Ramessid period,49 I read ȝb as an active participle referring to Minmose. He is the most obvious referent for the second person pronouns which follow in the text, and this reading then accounts for there being no speech marker after Minmose’s name; the whole text is addressed to him, celebrating his place amongst the transfigured dead.

  • 50  E.g. Refai 1996, p. 26; but see n. b above. The use of this speech marker, if correct here, can b (...)

47g The only feminine referent in this passage, other than Inty, is jmnt. In this reading the personified West speaks to Minmose, reassuring him of her protection, a capacity well attested for her in vignettes and hymns.50 Alternatively ḫr.s could be prepositional: “It (the West) is with you, (who are) before it, in the neshmet-barque.”

Text E 

[figs. 2, 11–12; Clère’s E and H]

48Single columns of inscription were inscribed on the rear surface of the emplacement, on either side of the figure’s legs; a large gouge has destroyed most of the right column. The text continues onto the top of the base, running in a column to its edge and continuing horizontally to close at the far-left corner. The upper framing line seems to stop at the legs, while the lower one continues to the left edge of the legs. After this, the damage to the edge of the base makes it difficult to tell if the lower framing line continues, although there is no trace of it on the surviving stone surface beneath the child determinative of ḏȝmw. I understand the text as continuing in the column on the left.

Fig. 11. Milling statue of Minmose, rear.

Fig. 11. Milling statue of Minmose, rear.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

Fig. 12. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, rear.

Fig. 12. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, rear.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß

Image

Image

Image

(empl. rear 1) [ca. 5 groups lost]snṯra
(base top)jw.j (m) rȝ-pr.f mj wnn.j tp-tȝ
[jwt]b ḏȝmwc (empl. rear 2)ntt r ḫpr
dd.w (r) nṯrw.kd (base top)m dwȝt

[ca. 5 groups lost] incense,
while I am in his temple, as when I was on earth,
[so that] future generations [will come?],
so that they may speak (to) your gods in the underworld.

49a I read Image as a logographic writing of snṯr “incense” (e.g. Wb IV, 181), which is well attested, especially in temple scenes. The small area of original surface directly above the pot is uninscribed. Traces of a somewhat rounded lower part of a sign above the three mineral dots seem inconsistent with fuller writings of snṯr with these signs as determinatives.

50b The heat-crack running through this group, combined with other surface damage, makes reading difficult. I follow Clère’s suggested restoration of jwt, which makes good sense in context, and for which there is a parallel (see next note). His reading of the first traces as Image cannot be confirmed, although the curved top of the sign would fit; compare examples of the sign in text D. The upper part of a quail chick is clear, as is t.

51c ḏȝmw is certain despite losses. See the comparable formulation in the Kanais inscription of Sety I (KRI I, 66, 6): “So that after (many) years, future generations will come to boast about me because of my strength (m-ḫt rnpwt jw.ty.sn jwt ḏȝmw nty r ḫpr swhȝ jm.j ḥr tl.j).” Julianna Kitti Paksi (2015, pp. 178–179) considers that the two formulations of the relative future here could be understood as set phrases, which the parallel with Minmose for the second would support. The parallel also indicates that on Minmose’s statue, despite the unusual organisation, this passage continues the text that began to the right of the legs (see fig. 3). The fact that the upper framing line of the latter stops at the right side of the legs may support this, encouraging a reader not to separate the texts.

  • 51  Compare a request on a Saqqara statue of the overseer of the treasury for the Ramesseum, Khay: “T (...)

52d The loop of the basket is clear, but it is possible that this is a mistake for nb, “so that they may speak to all the gods”. There is no clear referent for the second-person singular possessive. If it is correct to read this passage as a continuation of that on the right, this text may have been addressed to one person (see text F and discussion below). To read Image as a third-person plural suffix pronoun, with an omitted preposition, fits well with the emphasis on speech elsewhere on the statue. An alternative understanding of the final clause could be: “I being divine in the underworld (nṯr.kw m dwȝt)”, on the parallel with, for example, part of an address to Osiris-Wenennefer on a 19th Dynasty statue of the granary chief Siese: “That you may cause my ba to become divine in the necropolis, I being divine in the land of the justified (dj.k nṯrj bȝ.j m ẖrt-nṯr nṯr.kw m tȝ mȝʿtyw: KRI III, 152, 4–5).”51

Text F 

[figs. 1–2, 8–9, 11; Clère’s J, K, M, L]

53A single line of inscription survives in sections on each side of the base; the hieroglyphs face right, so it is likely that it began on the front left corner.

Image

(front)[… a] ʿš.k r pt sḏm.t[w] [ca. 3-4 groups lost]
(right)[ca. 3-4 groups lost] [m jr .. mj m-ʿ.. jr..]b
wsr{t}[w?c] nbw tȝ ḏsr nbw jȝwt (rear)[j]npw

jmm rwḏ rn.j m-ẖnw.tn mj tpyw-ʿ
wnn (left)njs.tw rn.k mj-qd.sn
ḫft prt ʿȝt ḥr-ntt rf mȝ.n.kd [ca. 4 groups lost]

[… …] when you call to the sky, may [your voice?] be heard [ca. 3–4 groups lost]
[ca. 3–4 groups lost then traces]
[the mighty?], lords of the sacred land, lords of mounds,e and Anubis.

Cause that my name be permanent among youf just like the ancestors,
your name being continually invoked like theirs (the ancestors)
during the great procession because you have seen [… ca. 4 groups lost]

  • 52  See discussion below; my thanks to Angela McDonald for thoughts on this point.

54a Probably only one group is missing from the beginning at the left edge of the base, before the group of visible but illegible traces. These consist of at least one vertical line, for which Clère restored Image (fig. 2), probably in parallel with the jr ʿš.tw formulation from BD 6 on the emplacement just above (B). Image would then be understood as a space filler. It is tempting to suggest that the tiny trace in front of the vertical line could be the tip of Image , thus ḏd.f, “he (Minmose?) says”, but these readings cannot be confirmed. The corner of what Clère took as r looks plausible, but could also be an eye. The passage that follows has parallels in, for example, Ramesside harpists’ songs, as discussed by Jan Assmann (1979, pp. 59–61, commentary n. e), but these are in verses at the beginning of the song, just after the name of the addressee. An example is the harper’s song in the 19th Dynasty tomb of Neferrenpet called Kenro: “When you call to the sky, may your voice be heard, and may Atum answer you (ʿš.k r pt sḏm.tw ḫrw.k wšb n.k jtm)” (Hofmann 1995, pp. 36–37, colour pl. 5b; Assmann 2005, pp. 307–308). Such parallels indicate that someone else should be speaking to Minmose (cf. Frood, Alvarez 2019, p. 12 for this effect on another of Minmose’s objects). However, this could be his own voice addressing an individual, perhaps his son or someone who will act as a good son. Such an understanding would fit with the emphasis on the human and divine father-son relationship that plays out across the statue.52 For further discussion of ʿš, see Spalinger 2021, p. 145, with n. 83.

55b The stone surface is lost in this area, and I have no confident suggestions for restoration, although many traces of signs are clear. There is space for a low horizontal sign beneath Image and another beneath what Clère suggested might be Image ; possible traces of the pupil in the latter are visible, supporting this reading. The trace of the next sign is closest to the upper part of mj, but a large Image might be possible. The Image of the next group is clear, with what seems to be Image below; the hand seems not to hold anything. There are further traces of at least one horizontal line below; Clère noted that Image seemed impossible here, and I agree. A heat crack runs through the next group. Clère’s suggestion of an eye is convincing, and the right corner of Image can probably be made out immediately below. Beneath this trace is a deep, circular shape that may be another sign.

56c The wsr-sign and the s are clear (although not in paper squeeze; this area could not be achieved using this method). Traces of the left corner of Image are visible in Clère’s paper squeeze. The t below is also clear; Clère marked this “sic” in his notes, seemingly suggesting wsrw, “powerful ones”. I cannot confirm the reading. There is a trace of a long vertical line roughly corresponding to a human figure, as well as of a staff. The uppermost vertical stroke that Clère read as the first of the plural strokes is visible, but the rest is lost.

57d For the causal conjunction ḥr-ntt rf, here in its earlier orthography rather than the Late Egyptian ḥr-nty, see Paksi (2015, p. 192 with refs). She characterises its use in the Kanais inscription of Sety I as archaising, and it has a comparable elevating effect here. The lower part of the handle of .k in mȝ.n.k is visible just below the heat crack, confirming the reading. Traces of a tall vertical sign are visible. The lower framing line extends for about 6 cm before disappearing into a break.

58e “Lords of the mounds” is not included in LGG, although “lord of the two mounds” is known for Osiris in the Middle Kingdom (LGG III, 569–570). “Lord of the mound” is relatively frequently attested in the Third Intermediate Period for deities including Osiris and Anubis (LGG III, 567, noting that the reading may be nb jȝwt on two Third Intermediate Period coffins). Arne Eggebrecht’s analysis of these designations includes a variant of a relevant passage in the Book of the Two Ways, with parallels in BD 118 (1966, pp. 150–151, fig. 10.5): “I received obeisance in Rosetau during the guiding of the gods upon their mounds” (CT VII, 290b). For mounds as burial places, see also Assmann 1979, p. 62, n. 75. nbw tȝ-ḏsr is attested as a divine epithet (LGG III, 824). Thus, this list probably refers to deities; the possible continuation with Anubis would support this understanding.

59f I suggest that the whole text around the base might be addressed to a single individual (see n. a to this text above), taking the second-person plural here as referring to the larger collective that encompasses them. The text then turns back to the specific by referring to the potential and permanent benefit that will ensue for “your name”.

4. Fathers  grain  incense

  • 53  Such assimilations are not unusual (with Assmann 1976). Dalino (2021a, I, p. 228), for example, n (...)

60The dense complexity of Minmose’s statue deserves detailed treatments. Here I can only point in a few directions, noting some of the many identifications that it manifests: father–son, son–Horus, grain–incense, as well as Minmose–shabti, which I treat below. Minmose’s father’s name, Hori, is prominently inscribed on the top of the statue, directly above the criss-crossed representation of grain: thus here jt “grain” is also jt “father”. This association is further extended by nḏ on the front of the statue (text B), characterising Minmose’s action as a miller, but also punning with the paradigmatic duty of a son: “Horus who champions his father (ḥr-nḏ-jt.f).” The placing of the Horus falcon between Minmose’s hands could be understood as protective. The pun must deploy Hori’s name because Minmose takes on the role and duties of Horus—“so that I may join with him (ẖnm.j sw)” (text C)—including the defence and protection of his father. Moreover, like Horus, Minmose steps into his father’s role; sw here could also signify Minmose’s father. The fusion of titles between Minmose’s hands—father and son share the title of high priest of Onuris—enacts these fusions of identity.53 The statue may also address Minmose’s son, real or ideal, extending the father-son metaphor out into the future (text F, and possibly D and E).

  • 54  E.g. Baum 1994, p. 23.
  • 55  Bovot 2003a, pp. 217–219. In the corresponding space under the right arm is: “sḥḏ, king’s son, se (...)

61While the immediate visual referent for the grid pattern in front of the hands, which is unparalleled in the 18th Dynasty miller corpus, is grain, it could also represent the mastic tears of pistache resin, or the granules into which incense resin was normally moulded.54 Although the damage on the front of Minmose’s statue makes the context for his statement about incense unclear (text B, with n. e), the association of the statue’s milling with incense is certain, as it is also on the Louvre miller statue of the king’s son Djehutymose, where “incense (snṯr) for the Ennead who are in the necropolis” is the only inscription on the front of the base, directly below the grinding emplacement. On the left side, in the negative space under the arm, an inscription reads: “I am the servant of this sublime god, his miller (nḏ.f)”.55 Inscriptions on some of the other 18th Dynasty miller statues state that their work is in service for the gods, but Djehutymose’s and Minmose’s are the only ones that mention incense. Their preparation of this substance is an extension of content and an elaboration of detail.

  • 56  TT 89: Davies, Davies 1941, p. 133, pl. 22; Serpico 2004, pp. 112–113, fig. 6.7; colour photograp (...)
  • 57  Quaegebeur 1993. See also Serpico 2004, p. 112.
  • 58  Helck 1963, pp. 711–713. For example, a list of offerings on an 18th Dynasty writing board includ (...)
  • 59  Assmann 2005, p. 97, with n. 114; ẖms (often written šms) is conventionally rendered “incense” (O (...)
  • 60  Baum 1994, p. 18.
  • 61  Another, subtler example is a scribe statue of an 18th Dynasty overseer of craftsmen of Amun and (...)

62Minmose’s standing pose, like those of the Brooklyn statue of Senenu and the Marseille statue of Tanettepihu, is similar to an image in the 18th Dynasty Theban tomb of Amenmose of a worker shaping what is probably incense.56 The fragmentary detail shows a man standing in front of a table that has an angled emplacement. The resin is heaped on the emplacement and the man stretches out his hands on top of the resin. The man to the right shapes the resin into the form of a trussed bird, while cakes of incense are shown as cones and cattle in the register below. Such forms are well attested for incense resin in New Kingdom texts and images, and the title “modeller of incense (sȝq snṯr)” is first attested in the 19th Dynasty.57 Frequent among the shapes are those which mimic bread loaves. Moreover, incense can be measured in grain measures and designated with vocabulary associated with bread, such as snṯr-t.58 This overlap in meaning operates in various ways. For example, ẖms could refer to both incense and grain in a censing scene (scene 47) in the Opening of the Mouth,59 while snṯr is said to take the form of “seeds (prt)” on a 30th Dynasty stela from Saqqara.60 Djehutymose’s statue shows that Minmose’s statue does not do anything new in drawing on such meanings, but the scale of its development and elaboration goes beyond what is attested from earlier.61

  • 62  Gessler-Löhr 2007, p. 77 with n. 103, pl. 12; Pasquali 2011, p. 8, A.15. My thanks to Nico Starin (...)
  • 63  Gessler-Löhr 2007, pp. 80–81.

63This association on both statues can be compared with an inscription on a stela of a late 18th Dynasty treasury custodian, Mahu, that was in his lost Saqqara tomb.62 A line running under the lower register, which shows Mahu and his wife seated before members of his family, reads: “miller of incense (nḏ snṯr) for Amun-Re, for the gods, the lords of Memphis, for the Ennead of the pr-njsw, custodian of the treasury, Mahu”. The miller title is unattested on the other surviving fragments from the tomb but, as Beatrix Gessler-Löhr observes, administering the delivery and distribution of incense would have been one of Mahu’s duties;63 the location of the inscription, literally under his sphere of influence, speaks directly to that, as does the range of institutions mentioned. Mahu is presenting a role-play—like Minmose, he probably did not shape incense himself—but one that is arguably closer to lived experience and direct responsibility.

  • 64  Roth (2002, p. 117) argues that the Old Kingdom serving statues which bear the names of the tomb (...)

64By preparing incense, Minmose’s statue is creating something that purifies, protects, and delights. His statue may even write its transformations across its surface. In the logographic writing of snṯr (Image ) on the rear surface (text E), the incense is burning and releasing its aroma. Thus, his statue may encapsulate a performative and productive cycle, comparable to the paired miller statues of Amenhotep which show the grinding of grain and the offering of bread (see above, n. 30). For Minmose’s statue this is again a detail, rather than a full presentation. It is the role-play as the good servant, the good son, that matters most.64

5. Shabti creation and potential

  • 65  My thanks to Kate Spence for this suggestion. For sculptors’ use of grids, see e.g. Galán 2007, p (...)
  • 66  In this it can be compared with scenes in two late Middle Kingdom tombs at Hierakonpolis and Elka (...)
  • 67  Schneider 1977, I, p. 139; Milde 2012, p. 2; with Wb IV, 436, 12.

65The grid pattern of the grain on Minmose’s statue may also evoke the grid that was used in the creation of stone monuments, including statues.65 If this is plausible, then the statue itself is materialising its own production.66 The statue not only creates itself, it describes itself, in terms of the potential of pose—“prostrate (pd ḥr tȝ)”—and function. On the left side of the upper surface of the emplacement, the statue is designated as a šbty, using a variant orthography attested in the late New Kingdom that probably derives from the verb šbj, “to replace, substitute”;67 the continuation on the front of the emplacement says that the shabti is “in my place (m st.j)”, or, through a pun, “my substitute”.

  • 68  For example, Grandet 1994, I, p. 229; II, pp. 28–29; a dedication formula on the base of an early (...)
  • 69  A telling later parallel is an appeal on the left side of a standing statue of Montuemhat from th (...)
  • 70  twt: Wb V, 255, 8–256, 20; TLA 170470 (with DZA); Hornung 1967, pp. 144–145; ẖnty: Wb III, 385, 8 (...)
  • 71  Gardiner 1937, p. 107, ll. 14–15; with Ragazzoli 2019, p. 415.

66These instances of ekphrasis might be further elaborated on the right side of the emplacement in a possible alternative continuation of Minmose’s statement about placing the shabti: “I placed my shabti before the lord of eternity, having made for myself a figure(?) according to my character, as what I myself did while on earth” (text C). Clère’s suggestion to read twt, “figure” or “statue”, for Image is appropriate; twt is often the direct object of jrj in the context of commissioning and creation.68 Although no parallel for this sign as a logogram for twt is known to me,69 it is a well attested variant determinative, as it is for ẖnty, another word for statue.70 The most immediate association for this sign is as the official sr and/or the great-one wr, suggesting an alternative reading as “having achieved a dignified status for myself, appropriate to my character”. As such it would resonate with statements in scribal literature that express ambitions for a comparable elevation: “Place writing in your heart, that you may protect your body from all labours and become an excellent official (jr.k sr jqr).”71 The dignity and notability of the terms sr and wr also resonate with twt, if that is the right reading. Whatever the interpretation, this single sign is laden with meaning.

  • 72  Nyord 2020, p. 12.
  • 73  An offering formula on the right side of a 20th Dynasty naophorous block statue of the royal hera (...)
  • 74  For the resonance with qj in New Kingdom biographies see Rickal 2005, pp. 111–115, especially pp. (...)
  • 75  Nyord 2017, p. 353; Frood 2019.
  • 76  I follow Clère’s Mss (16), rather than the arrangement of the inscriptions given in Urk. IV, 1811 (...)

67Nyord argues that the meanings of twt go beyond physical or visual similarity to express “a correspondence with a deeper nature … or the defining features that make one a member of a particular category”.72 Minmose’s statue takes this further, asserting that he made this “statue” or “dignified form according to my character (qjw)”.73 This then refers to Minmose’s innate preeminence, as demonstrated by his achievements “while on earth” and embodied by the statue.74 Thus the statue claims mimesis through Image and qjw—i.e. “this is who I am and what I do.” This claim is crucial to its performance of (desirable) menial labour, its designation as a šbtj, and the directive to it to ensure action, including the oath in text B—“if one calls at any time … [Minmose,], he should say: ‘As Re endures, as the ka of his disc endures… ’,  (you/I should?) mill.” Minmose’s statue gives material form to active, self-conscious service. This interpretation fits with Nyord’s assessment of images, including shabtis, as distinct nodes of being in the matrix that constitutes a person, as I have argued from a different direction in relation to some nonroyal temple statues.75 Many of these associations are oriented to the next world, thus bound to the body of the deceased, which is “sleeping, remaining in the sacred land” (text B), and its anticipated transfigurations, for example “in the neshmet-barque, for you are joining up with those of the sacred land” (text D). The juxtaposition of this vision with the busy “living” pose is even sharper on the miller statue of Amenhotep in Cairo: a prominent inscription on the base, beginning directly below the head and hands, reads: “corpse of eternity (ẖȝt nḥḥ) for right[…] the Osiris of the royal high steward, scribe Amenhotep before the great god”.76

  • 77  Schneider 1977, I, pp. 162–164 (his Class VII “unconventional forms”), 211–218, 260–262; Berlandi (...)
  • 78  Schlögl 1983; Gessler-Löhr 1997, pp. 41–42, n. 112. Kenamun was the owner of TT 162, dated on the (...)
  • 79  As brilliantly analysed by Gessler-Löhr (1997, pp. 38–43), focusing on the sʿḥ-statues of the may (...)

68Minmose’s miller statue and its precursors exemplify a diversification in shabti forms that is characteristic of the New Kingdom, particularly from the late 18th Dynasty onwards, also including shabtis holding ba-birds and figures on biers.77 This elaboration extended to transformations of scale and context. Among the most extreme is a fragment of a sandstone shabti, with a conventional undifferentiated body, belonging to the late 18th Dynasty Theban mayor Kenamun and found in Luxor temple, by the eastern door to the columned hall of Amenhotep III; the fragment measures 51 cm from the bottom of the feet to the break, which is roughly in the middle of the body, so the statue would have originally been life-size.78 Although its form resonates with sʿḥ-statues found in contemporaneous tombs that are over a metre high,79 a variant of BD 6 voiced by Kenamun is inscribed in a single column down the front of the legs: “O this shabti, if (I am) summoned to any work that must be done in the necropolis, ‘here I am!’, so you should say.” The shabti’s findspot was likely secondary, but the piece was almost certainly set up somewhere in the temple. The one-third life-size of Minmose’s miller shows that it was similarly oriented to display.

  • 80   Alvarez and I (2019, p. 3, with references) make a similar argument for the small Isis-throne of (...)
  • 81  For which see Effland, Effland 2004, pp. 7–9; cf. Angela P. Thomas (2016, pp. 62–64), who argues (...)
  • 82  Petrie 1902, p. 31, pl. 65, 9, 10. Now in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (YPM ANT 264 (...)
  • 83  The text on the back of the statue (text E) may allude to its presence in the temple, in a broken (...)

69An Abydos origin for Minmose’s miller seems probable, especially as the majority of his provenanced objects come from there.80 The statue might have been set up in the memorial chapel he and his colleague and kinsman, the high priest of Osiris, Wenennefer, created there.81 It is, however, just as likely that it was dedicated in the temple of Osiris, perhaps near the extraordinary, fairly large (H. 58 cm), black granite double shabti of Wenennefer and his wife Tiye found by Petrie in the area of the enclosure wall of the Osiris complex, near the temple of Nectanebo I.82 The texts on this statue give only titles and names, but they include a sḥḏ designation just for Wenennefer on the rear surface; the miller Minmose would fit well here.83

  • 84  Some implications of this small size in terms of experience, material, and meaning have been beau (...)
  • 85  For the latter, Pumpenmeier 1998.
  • 86  Emmanuel Jambon (2016, pp. 144–145) convincingly suggests that at least one of the two large gran (...)

70The vast majority of shabtis, including those with unconventional forms, are miniatures, and most were probably never meant to be seen except when they were being made and deposited.84 They were often wrapped, clustered in boxes, and buried in tombs, or included as elements of votive deposits.85 Minmose, Kenamun, and other monumental shabtis stage something quite different, taking up meanings of shabtis—service, multiplication and substitution of self and agency in terms of service—and transforming them into images that were intended to be visible, enduring, and interacted with by the living and divine in this world, as much as or more than with beings in the next world.86 Even among those statues Minmose stands apart, because he is not wrapped, undifferentiated, and so not divinised through form, although his texts anticipate and enact that. He is an animated, preoccupied and productive self.

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Hornung 1967
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K.E. Howley, “The Materiality of Shabtis: Figurines over Four Millennia”, Cambridge Archaeological Journal 30/1, 2020, pp. 123–140.

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E. Lang, “‘Maids at the Grindstone: A Comparative Study of New Kingdom Egypt Grain Grinders”, Journal of Lithic Studies 3/3, 2016, pp. 279–289.

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J. Leclant, Montouemhat. Quatrième prophète d’Amon, Prince de la ville, BiEtud 35, Cairo, 1961.

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H. Milde, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, 2012, s.v. “Shabtis”, https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6cx744kk.

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R. Nyord, Seeing Perfection: Ancient Egyptian Images Beyond Representation, Cambridge, 2020.

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S. Pasquali, Topographie cultuelle de Memphis 1a. Corpus. Temples et principaux quartiers de la XVIIIe dynastie, CENiM 4, Montpellier, 2011.

Petrie 1902
W.M.F. Petrie, Abydos I, MEEF 22, London, 1902.

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Notes

1  Clère Mss 16; Mss 26, ESTP 141–146, http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/archive/holdings/#c. See also https://archive.griffith.ox.ac.uk/index.php/clere-collection.

2  A slip in the Griffith Institute archive relates his process of work, together with his wife Irène, during the 1968 visit. It takes the form of a diary entry, recording that on the morning of May 18: “Je finis copie statue Minmôsé, fait estampages alum[inium], […..] je fais photos statue avec Irène.” A second slip lists the negative numbers for the photographs taken in 1964 and in 1968, as well as the following note: “Estampages alum.: 18/5/68 = ESTP141 à 146.”

3  A slip accompanying the folder of paper and foil squeezes in Mss 26 records “141–146 = Meunier de Minmosé (Berlin-Est) Retirée 1/1/77”. This is likely to be the date that some, if not all, of the paper squeezes were achieved.

4  Jaromir Malek observes, in his biographical note for Clère (1995), that he belonged to the generation of Egyptologists who “published only when they had solved a problem to their own full satisfaction, rather than in order to add yet another ‘bibliographic unit’ to the list of their publications”. Clère must have felt that he hadn’t been able to fully resolve many of the readings. I do not suppose that I have done so either, but I hope that by presenting the inscriptions in a preliminary way here, others will take the matter further.

5  The museum database records that it was registered in January 1969 from previously unnumbered material (Jan Moje, personal communication 25/09/2017).

6  E.g. Effland, Effland 2004; Dalino 2021a, II, pp. 354–362. Nor is it included in PM VIII or the entries for Minmose in KRI III. The museum database had designated the owner as Hori (Jan Moje, personal communication September 2017), almost certainly due to the prominent inscription of Minmose’s father’s name, Hori, on the statue’s upper surface.

7  Griffith Institute: Moss Nb. B.28, p. 46.

8  I am grateful to Simon Connor and Carl Elkins for helping me to model size.

9  E.g. Clère 1968; Clère 1995, pp. 73–80, doc. A; Effland, Effland 2004; Effland, Effland 2013, pp. 40–45; Frood 2019, pp. 9–12; Frood, Alvarez 2019. The latter includes a brief summary of his career, as do the discussions of Ute and Andreas Effland (2004, 2013) and Edwin Dalino (2021a, I, p. 228). See also Wolze 2019 for a model scribe’s palette belonging to Minmose. An important reassessment of the relationships of Minmose’s kinsmen, the high priest of Osiris Wennenefer and the vizier Prehotep, is Dalino 2021b.

10  Jørgensen 1998, p. 194.

11  With Gabolde 2004, p. 233.

12  Summaries are also given in Bovot 2007; Gabolde 2004; Schneider 1977, I, pp. 216–218.

26   Merymery: PM III2, pp. 705–706; Staring 2016a, p. 529. Amenhotep: PM III2, pp. 702–703; Helck 1975, pp. 483–484. For this well-known individual, see also el-Sayed 1982, pp. 123–127; Ullmann 2002, pp. 128–129; Pasquali 2011, p. 36.

27  Koefoed-Petersen 1950, p. 26; Gabolde 2004, p. 233, n. 40.

28  James 1974, pp. 119–120, probably following Breasted 1948, pp. 23–24. Siese’s tomb was at Abydos: De Meulenaere 1971, especially pp. 225–226 for discussion of this statue.

29  With Warmenbol 1999, p. 90, no. 74. Also Schneider 1977, I, p. 293, with Berlandini 1994, p. 401, n. 85, on the diversity of texts and images relating to Nut in the reign of Amenhotep III, including this statue.

30  Grenier 1996, pp. 44–45. Also Gabolde 2004, p. 233. Two of the Leiden statues of Merymery, AST 30a and 30b, with their mirrored poses, form a comparable pair (Staring 2016a, p. 529).

31  Gardiner 1906, p. 55.

32  For this element, see Schneider 1977, I, pp. 131–133 (reading as “the illuminated one” or “the one who illuminates” the owner; followed by Milde 2012, p. 7). Rune Nyord (2017, p. 346, n. 45) prefers to understand the title as “instructor”, thereby “stressing the hierarchical superiority of the ‘original’”, i.e. the owner.

33  Schneider 1977, III, p. 109, 3.2.9.53.2.9.7 (transcriptions).

34  Urk. IV, 1811, 10.

35  James 1974, pl. 70, 271a–g; Schneider 1977, I, p. 295. A damaged inscription in four columns on the figure’s back begins “I am a msnḫn … Wenennefer”, with msnḫn (possibly determined with the stone slab or brick: Gardiner O39) understood as an otherwise unattested word for miller (Wb II, 146.9; TLA 75530 with Digitales Zettelarchiv (DZA)) on the parallel with jnk nḏw. The text inscribed in two lines on his thighs and lower back includes the address “O shabti”. John Baines suggests (personal communication, September 2021) that msnḫn might mean “the one who makes/is made youthful (nḫn)”, thus “one who rejuvenates”, as a capacity of incense, and in this it could be compared with the form of snṯr.

36  James 1974, pl. 70, 270d.

37  James 1974, pl. 70, 270e; Schneider 1977, I, pp. 91–94 for IIIa.

38  James 1974, pl. 69, 270a–c; Schneider 1977, I, p. 294. The theme of supplication resonates with that in the so-called Amenhotep III-formula, named for its use on shabtis of that king, and also attested on some contemporaneous non-royal shabtis: Schneider 1977, I, pp. 270–276.

39  Schneider 1977, I, p. 293; Roth 2002, pp. 119–120.

40  Jean-Luc Bovot (2003a, p. 219) gives a succinct summary of some early interpretations for the New Kingdom millers. Ann Macy Roth (2002, p. 120) stresses the evocation of Old Kingdom examples in which the presentation of menial labour is legitimised by a relationship to the tomb owner. For the New Kingdom millers, this relationship, where stated, is with the gods, some implications of which Jean Capart explored already in 1908.

41  Nyord 2017, pp. 338–349.

42  Nyord 2017, p. 346.

43  The museum number is written in red on the side of Minmose’s right foot.

44  Lang 2016, p. 281.

45  The JSesh transcriptions observe reading direction. Columns are indicated by arrows. Full, but confident, restorations are in square brackets. The extent of lacunae is estimated and indicated with grey squares in the transcriptions.

46  Dalino 2021a, I, pp. 117–118: Hori’s known titles are: sȝb, ḥm-nṯr tpy n jnḥr, jmy-js n šw tfnt, ḥm-nṯr šw, ḥm-nṯr n-mwt (nbt jšrw), jmy-rȝ šnwty.

47  Also: Wb III, 396, 2; TLA 450367. I am grateful to Dilwyn Jones for sharing his preliminary dossier for ẖrj-tp-njsw and related titles with me. A comparable arrangement and location of this title is the stelophorous statue of the late 18th Dynasty mayor of Memphis Menkheper, between his arms on the “bridge” joining the stela with his torso: Chicago, Oriental Institute E8634, https://oi-idb.uchicago.edu/id/1fdd8a00-7a2d-4cc4-a687-a6d1331b4e61; Gessler-Löhr 1997, p. 55 with fig. 4.

48  My thanks to Simone Gerhards for discussion.

49  LGG I, pp. 8–9. Leitz et al. include neither this precise formulation nor any that refers to Abydos, Osiris, or Horus. Ȝb-jmntt “desired one of the west” is an epithet of Amun-Re on four monuments from Deir el-Medina (LGG I, p. 8; also Bruyère 1952, pp. 40–52). The “West of Tawer” could be a way of tailoring the epithet to context, probably as a designation for Osiris, but the overall context does not point in this direction.

50  E.g. Refai 1996, p. 26; but see n. b above. The use of this speech marker, if correct here, can be compared with an address to Osiris made by Nut on a votive vessel of Minmose and his kinsman Prehotep from Abydos: “Your father Geb, he has appointed you as chief spokesperson … And so for all the gods who came into being from your mother Nut; ‘you are their leader’, so she said (j.n.s), calling to you ‘Wenennefer (?)’, so she says to you when she sees you with the form of Re (ḫr.s n.k ḏr ptr.s tw m qj n rʿ: KRI III, 64, 9–13).”

51  Compare a request on a Saqqara statue of the overseer of the treasury for the Ramesseum, Khay: “That I may rest in my tomb (after) 110 years, having been divinised in the wabet (after) 70 (days) (ḥtp.j (m) mʿḥʿt.j n rnpt-sp 110 jw.j nṯr.kw m wʿbt 70: KRI III, 373, 5–6).”

52  See discussion below; my thanks to Angela McDonald for thoughts on this point.

53  Such assimilations are not unusual (with Assmann 1976). Dalino (2021a, I, p. 228), for example, notes comparable ­elements on a stela of the high priest of Osiris Wennenefer in the Louvre; see also Frood 2016.

54  E.g. Baum 1994, p. 23.

55  Bovot 2003a, pp. 217–219. In the corresponding space under the right arm is: “sḥḏ, king’s son, sem-priest, Djehutymose.”

56  TT 89: Davies, Davies 1941, p. 133, pl. 22; Serpico 2004, pp. 112–113, fig. 6.7; colour photograph of part of the larger scene showing the preparation of unguent: Baum 2003, p. 70, but without this detail.

57  Quaegebeur 1993. See also Serpico 2004, p. 112.

58  Helck 1963, pp. 711–713. For example, a list of offerings on an 18th Dynasty writing board includes “incense-breads, a thousand baskets (snṯr-t dnj 1000)” (Vernus 1981, p. 107, with p. 113, n. o.).

59  Assmann 2005, p. 97, with n. 114; ẖms (often written šms) is conventionally rendered “incense” (Otto 1960, II, pp. 108–109), but Assmann notes the plant determinatives which open up reading as grain (cf. Otto 1960, I, p. 114).

60  Baum 1994, p. 18.

61  Another, subtler example is a scribe statue of an 18th Dynasty overseer of craftsmen of Amun and scribe, Teti, found in the 11th Dynasty temple at Deir el-Bahri and now in the National Museum of Scotland, which has “myrrh (ʿntjw)” inscribed on the upper of two cakes of ink in the shell palette on the knee: Edinburgh A.1905.279.3; Naville, Hall 1913, pl. 8, Fb; see also Scott 1989, pp. 264–268, 970–973, cat. 159. Excellent photographs in the entry in the National Museums of Scotland online database: https://www.nms.ac.uk/explore-our-collections/collection-search-results/statue/302963. Here ink is consubstantial with incense rather as grain is on Minmose’s statue. Teti is writing on the papyrus that runs over his lap, but at least partly with incense—a substance that, like ink, manifests divine presence and ensures communication between worlds (compare Price 2018).

62  Gessler-Löhr 2007, p. 77 with n. 103, pl. 12; Pasquali 2011, p. 8, A.15. My thanks to Nico Staring.

63  Gessler-Löhr 2007, pp. 80–81.

64  Roth (2002, p. 117) argues that the Old Kingdom serving statues which bear the names of the tomb owner’s children show their support for their father through their being depicted producing food, even if this only happened on special occasions in elite households. If such ancient meanings were still current, Minmose may draw on them. I have noted elsewhere (Frood 2019, p. 11) that Minmose had an interest in role-plays, having also commissioned statues of himself as a musician and doorkeeper.

65  My thanks to Kate Spence for this suggestion. For sculptors’ use of grids, see e.g. Galán 2007, p. 105, with references; Schäfer 1974, pp. 327–331; Anthes 1941, pp. 93–95 (treating first millennium BCE sculptors’ models).

66  In this it can be compared with scenes in two late Middle Kingdom tombs at Hierakonpolis and Elkab in which the images of stonemasons “are ingeniously made to chip away at the very walls on which they are represented” (Fischer 1958–1959, p. 146, with the lower figure on p. 147). I am grateful to Jordan Miller for pointing me to the example in the Elkab tomb of Sobeknakht, for which see Tylor 1896, pl. xi. Christelle Alvarez and I (2019, pp. 9–10, commentary notes d–e) suggest a similar self-reflexivity for the votive Isis-throne belonging to Minmose and now in the Ashmolean Museum.

67  Schneider 1977, I, p. 139; Milde 2012, p. 2; with Wb IV, 436, 12.

68  For example, Grandet 1994, I, p. 229; II, pp. 28–29; a dedication formula on the base of an early 19th Dynasty naophorous statue of the royal scribe and chief lector priest Yuny records that “the statue was made for him as a living-image in order to rest in his precinct (jr.tw n.f twt r šsp-ʿnḫ r ḥtp m ḥwt.f)” (KRI I, 353, 13; Allen 2005, pp. 66–68, cat. no. 57, text visible in the figure on p. 66; https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/544741.

69  A telling later parallel is an appeal on the left side of a standing statue of Montuemhat from the Karnak Cachette where twt is written logographically Image  ; elsewhere on the statue this is the determinative for twt, resonating with the form of the statue itself: Leclant 1961, pp. 6–7, cf. pp. 18–19; Price 2011, p. 22.

70  twt: Wb V, 255, 8–256, 20; TLA 170470 (with DZA); Hornung 1967, pp. 144–145; ẖnty: Wb III, 385, 8–10; TLA 123860; Hornung 1967, pp. 134–135. For the interchangeability of twt and ẖnty in reference to statues, see Ockinga 1984, pp. 5–6. The capacity of ẖnty-statues for mobility, hence action, is also appropriate in this context.

71  Gardiner 1937, p. 107, ll. 14–15; with Ragazzoli 2019, p. 415.

72  Nyord 2020, p. 12.

73  An offering formula on the right side of a 20th Dynasty naophorous block statue of the royal herald Userhat, from the Karnak Cachette requests that Amun-Re allow “that my qj (Image ) remain in place (m st), and favours before me” (Legrain 1909, II, pp. 46–47, pl. 44; https://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/cachette/ck48). This is a variant of conventional formulae requesting the permanence of statues (e.g. Frood 2019, pp. 7–9), and a translation as “self” or “form” might be appropriate, also encompassing notions of character and comportment. I owe much to Jordan Miller for thought-provoking discussions around these points, and to one of the anonymous reviewers.

74  For the resonance with qj in New Kingdom biographies see Rickal 2005, pp. 111–115, especially pp. 112–113 on the early 19th Dynasty biographies of the high steward Nefersekheru and the high priest of Amun Bakenkhons. The latter in particular supports an excellent point made by a reviewer that, in a number of contemporaneous texts, qj is something that can be described or known, i.e. one’s circumstances or reputation. On his Munich statue, Bakenkhons introduces his enumerated life history with the declaration that he will have worthy people “know my qj when I was on earth, in every office which I performed since my birth” (Frood 2007, p. 41; with a 20th Dynasty parallel on p. 78). In both cases I translate “my character”, as appropriate to context and in keeping with Erik Hornung’s (1967, pp. 142–143) analysis of the term as expressive of how external appearance encapsulates nature or essence.

75  Nyord 2017, p. 353; Frood 2019.

76  I follow Clère’s Mss (16), rather than the arrangement of the inscriptions given in Urk. IV, 1811, 12–13; and see n. 13 above. The apparent identification of the statue as a ẖȝt, “corpse”, is striking. In religious compositions ẖȝt is closely associated with terms for images such as twt and sšmw (e.g. Assmann 2005, pp. 141, 322–324, 330; Amduat: Hornung 1987, pp. 332–333), but its direct designation of the self as statue or the self in two-dimensional representation seems rare (TLA 122220, with DZA). One example is a freestanding pillar-like object of Minmose’s kinsman, the high priest of Osiris Wennenefer, which bears images of him, as well as his parents and wife, in raised relief. One shows Wennenefer in undifferentiated form and flanked by jackals who have their front paws on either shoulder. The caption on the right reads “Anubis places his paws on you, that he may enfold (sȝq) the corpse of … Wennenefer, true of voice” (Clère 1985, pp. 162–163). Here the wrapped, undifferentiated body, and the presence of Anubis, is in keeping with conventional understandings of ẖȝt.

77  Schneider 1977, I, pp. 162–164 (his Class VII “unconventional forms”), 211–218, 260–262; Berlandini 2002.

78  Schlögl 1983; Gessler-Löhr 1997, pp. 41–42, n. 112. Kenamun was the owner of TT 162, dated on the basis of style to the reign of Amenhotep III: Kampp 1996, I, p. 452.

79  As brilliantly analysed by Gessler-Löhr (1997, pp. 38–43), focusing on the sʿḥ-statues of the mayor of Memphis Tjel and his wife Ipuy from Saqqara (for Tjel: Staring 2016b, p. 530, cat. V.33, with p. 269; https://hdl.handle.net/21.12126/22525.

80   Alvarez and I (2019, p. 3, with references) make a similar argument for the small Isis-throne of Minmose. See also Effland, Effland 2004. A statue of Minmose was recovered from the Karnak Cachette: CG 37367; https://www.ifao.egnet.net/bases/cachette/ck924.

81  For which see Effland, Effland 2004, pp. 7–9; cf. Angela P. Thomas (2016, pp. 62–64), who argues that this monument was Minmose’s tomb.

82  Petrie 1902, p. 31, pl. 65, 9, 10. Now in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History (YPM ANT 264189): http://collections.peabody.yale.edu/search/Record/YPM-ANT-264189; Scott 1986, pp. 124–125, no. 71.

83  The text on the back of the statue (text E) may allude to its presence in the temple, in a broken context: “… incense, while I am in his temple (rȝ-pr.f) just like when I was on earth.” The Brooklyn statue of Senenu asserts: “I am the servant of your temple, my lord (jnk ḥm n rȝ-pr.k nb.j)” (James 1974, pl. 69, 270c); I wonder if it might have been a temple statue too?

84  Some implications of this small size in terms of experience, material, and meaning have been beautifully assessed by Kathryn Howley (2020).

85  For the latter, Pumpenmeier 1998.

86  Emmanuel Jambon (2016, pp. 144–145) convincingly suggests that at least one of the two large granite (one red, one black) shabtis of Amenhotep III found in the Karnak Cachette was part of a group of objects that were inappropriate for display in an open-air courtyard, because of their material or their typology (for which he especially notes the shabti), and may have instead been set up in a special memorial chapel dedicated to that king (see also Gessler-Löhr 1997, p. 42, n. 112).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. Milling statue of Minmose, front.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 2. Hand copy of the inscriptions on the milling statue of Minmose by Jacques Jean Clère.
Crédits © Griffith Institute, University of Oxford
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,1M
Titre Fig. 3. Plan of the inscriptions on the milling statue of Minmose by Jacques Jean Clère.
Crédits © Griffith Institute, University of Oxford
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 4. Reconstruction drawing of the milling statue of Minmose, based on the Brooklyn statue of Senenu, by Simon Connor.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 564k
Titre Fig. 5. Milling statue of Senenu (Brooklyn Museum 37.120E). Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 6. Milling statue of Minmose, top.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,7M
Titre Fig. 7. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, front.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,5M
Titre Fig. 8. Milling statue of Minmose, right.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,6M
Titre Fig. 9. Milling statue of Minmose, left.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-23.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 10. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, left.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-24.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,5M
Titre Fig. 11. Milling statue of Minmose, rear.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-28.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Fig. 12. Milling statue of Minmose, detail of the top of the base, rear.
Crédits © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Inv.-Nr. ÄM 24179/Sandra Steiß
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/docannexe/image/13871/img-29.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 2,4M
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Elizabeth Frood, « Minmose the Miller. A Ramessid Serving Statue Preparing Incense (Berlin ÄM 24179)

مينموز الطحان. تمثال خَدَم لتحضير البخور من عصر الرعامسة (برلين ÄM 24179) »
Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (BIFAO), 123 | 2023, 137-170.

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Elizabeth Frood, « Minmose the Miller. A Ramessid Serving Statue Preparing Incense (Berlin ÄM 24179)

مينموز الطحان. تمثال خَدَم لتحضير البخور من عصر الرعامسة (برلين ÄM 24179) »
Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale (BIFAO) [En ligne], 123 | 2023, mis en ligne le 16 juillet 2023, consulté le 13 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bifao/13871 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bifao.13871

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Elizabeth Frood

Associate Professor of Egyptology, Fellow of St Cross College, Honorary Fellow of The Queen’s College, University of Oxford

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