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Statue of Harwa

25th Dynasty (747-656 BC)
Temple of Karnak

Both statues of Harwa and Iriketakana were found in 1904-1905 by George Legrain, among many others, in the temple of Karnak; in the courtyard of the Seventh Pylon, since called “Courtyard of the Cachette”. They are dated to the 25th Dynasty.

Harwa, the butler to the Divine Adoratrice Amenirdis I, daughter of the king Kashta, was a major figure in the second half of the 8th century BC. This title gave him an important power which is demonstrated in his tomb, one of the largest in Western Thebes; in addition to eight statues which are housed today in the Cairo and Berlin museums, the Louvre and the British Museum.

At the time in Upper Egypt, a princess of royal blood was invested as “Divine Adoratrice of Amun” in Thebes, embodying both spiritual and political power and representing the king in Upper Egypt. To this end, she had a certain number of attributes reserved for royalty and many servants and officials were at her service, among which the butler Harwa (refer to the caption on Amenirdis).

Harwa is shown seated on the floor with right leg crossed and the left leg bent in front of his body; the right hand resting on the right thigh and left hand on the knee of the corresponding crossed leg. He leans against a dorsal pillar.

The figure with strong corpulence and sagging breasts is simply dressed in a loincloth. His head is round with a receding forehead, almond-shaped eyes and mouth framed by wrinkles seemingly expressing bitterness. A short inscription is engraved on the top of his chest, which gives us his name and title of butler. On his right forearm we find the name of Divine Adoratrice Amenirdis. Finally, on the unfolded scroll on the figure’s loincloth, with an offering formula gives the titles of Harwa; titles which are also visible on the dorsal pillar of the statue.

see also