The “Ka” of Hor, a statue that has no double!


There is again; a magnificent creation of art, perception and individual way of the cult. A walking God in its perfect form.

An excellent description by Marie Grillot http://Marie Grillot πŸ™πŸ’–πŸ™

via translated from French

When he arrived at the site of Dahshur on February 17, 1894, Jacques de Morgan, who had headed the Egyptian Antiquities Service for two years, expressed his satisfaction: “I found things as they were. I wanted to see them. The excavations in the south had uncovered mastabas and wells of the Old Kingdom; those in the north, on the contrary, had proved the existence of a vast necropolis of the XIIth Dynasty. “
Two months later, one can imagine, with good reason, that his satisfaction redoubles as he unearths, in the southern pyramid, the tomb of King Fou-ab-Ra Hor or Aou-ab-Ra Hor. The existence of this hitherto unknown ruler has only just been revealed to him by various broken objects bearing his name, left behind by grave robbers. A controversy will also arise between de Morgan and Maspero on the date of his reign: 12th? or XIIIth Dynasty?

On April 17, as he entered the tomb, accompanied by Gustave JΓ©quier and Georges Legrain, his attention was drawn to a large wooden naos measuring 2.09 m high, 0.68 cm wide and 0., 92 cm, “inverted flat in the eastern corner of the first chamber”.

Dessins de Georges Legrain reprΓ©sentant la statue dans son naos, parus dans “Fouilles Γ  Dahchour” – Jacques de Morgan, 1894

Here is the account of the incredible discovery:

“The great naos contains the statue of the double (ka) of King Hor-Aou-Ab-Ra (or Fou-ab-Ra). The pediment was decorated with the sun disk with extended wings. The royal protocol was read in full on the uprights of the doors, broken, formerly and now disappeared. The solar disk and the hieroglyphic texts were painted in green on a gold leaf resting on a plaster plate.

“The double statue of King Hor-Fou-ab-Ra depicting “the shadow of a deceased is unique. When it was found, lying in the naos under a heap of sticks and pottery, it was still covered with a coat of grey paint that fell on the first touch …

The eyebrows, eyelids, beard stand, gorget, the tips of the breasts, toenails and hands were covered with gold leaf.

A thin belt of the same metal surrounded the kidneys, knotting at the suprapubic region to drop its extremities, which are one finger wide, down to half of the thighs.
Scattered in the back of the naos were found the fragments of the hieroglyphic sign “Ka” which surmounted the head, as well as the eyes and the beard which had once been violently torn off.
This representation of the shadow of a king bears no emblem attesting to the sovereignty of the one who united during his lifetime the two crowns of Egypt. The shadow is naked and walks calmly, a stick in the left hand guiding its walk. “

“The Horus Hotep-ab, the master of the diadems of the Vulture and the Ureus, Nojer-Khaou (with splendid appearances) the Golden Horus Nojer Nouterou (the beauty of the gods) the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, ruler of the two lands, the omnipotent Fou-ab-Ra, the son of the Sun, who comes from his side and who loves him, Hor, the royal double living in the tomb; he gives life, stability, strength and health, he rejoices on the throne of the Horus of the living, like Ra, eternally “.(inscription on the facade of the Naos)

“The artist who made this statue cared little for the material he used. He may have made the head, torso and left leg in a single block of wood; but arrived there, he adjusted with large ankles the arms and the right leg and completed his work by adding new pieces to the shoulder blades and toes. All of this disappeared in the past under the coat of grey paint. Anyway and despite the difficulties involved. he was able to meet in the accomplishment of his task, the artist did a masterpiece. The body is perfect for balance and proportions. “

This statue calls out to us in different ways, by its rock crystal eyes surrounded by bronze, by its nudity and the veins of ebony wood which resemble marbling or the grain of the skin, but especially by these arms raised on the head. …

Jean-Pierre Corteggiani enlightens us on this “ka”: “The abstract notion of ‘ka’ is certainly one of the most difficult to define because, despite the ‘double’ translation adopted in the last century, it does not correspond to any of our conceptions Let us just say that with the ba, the akh, the body (The Egyptian Soul), the shadow and the name, the ka is, for an Egyptian one of the constitutive elements of the personality of an individual and that he is, in fact, a manifestation of vital energies, both creative and conservative, related to sexual potency and the forces that maintain order in the world. “

Here is something to be, once again, absolutely amazed by ancient Egypt, by its art of course and always, but also by its way of thinking, by its perception of the components of the individual and by this notion, always immensely present. , and pregnant, of maintaining the cosmic and terrestrial balance.

Marie Grillot


Excavations at Dahchour, Jacques de Morgan, 1894
The Egypt of the Pharaohs in the Cairo Museum, Jean-Pierre Corteggiani, 1986, Hachette

12 thoughts on “The “Ka” of Hor, a statue that has no double!

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Thank you, Alaedin. I recently returned to a mythology class I’ve been involved with since 1990 (Zoom is difficult with my hearing) as we dig deeper into Isis and Osiris–and the many stories and connections with other Egyptian deities and the cycles of nature. This piece is exquisite and sacred.

    I have always felt comfortable with Plotinus and his double nature of Soul–Soul connected to Nature and Body and Soul connected to the Intelligibles and the One. Thinking of the ka soul and ba soul feels close to this to me–and a way to understand my own connection with the sacred and with nature and body. With gratitude, Elaine

    Liked by 1 person

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