Meryre and Iniuia: love for eternity

Standard
egypt-museum:
“  Statue of Meryre and his wife Iniuia High Priest of Aten and High Priest of the Temple of Neith. Private statuary in this period was very rare, so this statue is considered especially valuable.
Discovered in Saqqara. Amarna Period,...
http://egypt-museum
Statue of Meryre and his wife Iniuia
High Priest of Aten and High Priest of the Temple of Neith. Private statuary in this period was very rare, so this statue is considered especially valuable. 
Discovered in Saqqara. Amarna Period, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1553-1336 BC. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Photo: Kenneth Garrett

A loving couple! So close and intimate. The old Egypt shows it in such a fascinating artwork. We can read the details in this brilliant article. With thanks to Marie Grillot. https://egyptophile.blogspot.com/2019/02/meryre-et-iniuia-lamour-pour-leternite.html via https://egyptophile.blogspot.com/

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

The couple is of refined elegance. And everything in this representation exudes good society, to with that engenders ease and luxury; the noble attitude, the fine clothes, the elaborate hairstyles, and even the seat with lion’s legs on which they take place for eternity …

And this overall harmony is sublimated by the tenderness of a gesture which concretizes the intimacy and the bonds uniting the spouses for life… and also for the beyond.

Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) undoubtedly form a very close couple of notables, having a certain rank with their sovereign …

Is it because they are both dressed in white? Their hair is also white. The shade of their complexion varies little so that we might find them a certain mimicry, or even a certain resemblance?

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – the reign of Akhenaton Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqarah – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

Meryre wears an elaborate hairstyle, similar to that of the scribe Meniou (Louvre Museum – E 11519) or those reproduced in the tomb of Ramose (TT55). The wig, entirely curly, covers a good part of the forehead as well as the ears. It is made up of a multitude of finely braided locks that come in a gradient starting from the forehead to the nape of the neck. “In fact, the starting point is a fairly long wig and entirely thrown reject in the back: the locks are divided into two equal parts and brought back to the chest so that the locks, now visible at this place, are those which, in the ideal primitive position, were not “(Jacques Vandier). And, on what the latter and Etienne Drioton call a “reverse wig”, Christophe Barbotin makes this pertinent analysis: “… it is not a transcription of reality, because no hairstyle could preserve an angle of this nature, but from the application to the previous fallout from two different points of view: global view on the head and detail view on the fallout “.

The rather round face, with full cheeks, is perfectly symmetrical and harmonious. The almond-shaped eyes are topped with arched, raised eyebrows. The nose is small, the lips full. The neck is adorned with the “two-tiered Shebiou Necklace, formed of threaded gold disc beads, a special royal gift presented with the armbands he also wears” (Abeer El-Shahawy, “The Egyptian Museum in Cairo”).

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

He wears a tunic that, we imagine, is made from the purest linen. The sleeves are short, pleated and slightly flared. Its long loincloth is aesthetically tied at the waist and falls in a pleated front. “His names and titles are inscribed on the skirt, giving the names of the two cities where he was stationed: Akhenaton, which is Tell El-Amarna, and Memphis, also attesting to the presence of the cult of Aten in the temple of Memphis “(Abeer El-Shahawy). His hands rest flat on his thighs, and the left firmly holds a piece of cloth: “a sheet folded nobly”. The feet are bare.

His wife is seated to his left and her right arm is placed tenderly, lovingly, on her husband’s shoulder.

Iniuia is as beautiful as her husband, and her face is treated almost the same, although with a smaller mouth but fuller lips. Her wig is very sophisticated. It is wavy and covers her shoulders. It seems that it is separated by a central stripe, covered with a fairly wide band (ribbon?), which surmounts the frontal “brace”. Two imposing masses of wide braids, which end in small thin braids, frame her face. On the right side, a charming movement returns the locks to the back, giving dynamism and originality to the hairstyle.

Her immaculate dress is embellished with charming piping and pleated sleeves. The very fine material, let’s guess: the small breast and the navel, marked in the hollow. The garment is very long and covers up to half of the feet. “Like her husband, she holds a folded tissue in her left hand” specifies Abeer El-Shahawy, who also indicates that how the couple is represented: “seated on a classic chair with animal feet. The back panel bears ten columns of offering formulas, for the benefit of both spouses “.

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020

Meryre is generally presented as “the scribe of the temple of Aten in Akhenaton (Tell el-Amarna), and Memphis”. But, in the tomb (TA4), which he had built himself in the capital, founded by Akhenaton, is adorned with many other titles: “Grand Priest (lit: Great Seers) of the Aten, in the house of Aton in Akhenaton”, ” Flabellifère to the right of the King “(The Flabellifère designates the fan-holder),” Royal Chancellor “, ” Unique friend “, ” Hereditary nobleman and Prince “, ” Close to the King “!(The list taken from the Osirisnet.net site). As for Iniuia, she was the “favourite of the lady of the palace” (the queen).

This statue comes from another tomb, which they had built in Saqqarah (and could be the H9 mastaba described by Auguste Mariette). It was discovered in February 2001 by a joint mission from the National Museum of Antiquities of Leyden, the Faculty of Archeology – Department of Egyptology of the University of Leyden, and the Service of Antiquities of Egypt. In the article entitled “The excavations of Leyden in the tomb of Méryneith at Saqqara, campaigns 2001-2002”, published in the Bulletin of the French Society of Egyptology, 2002, (155), Maarten J. Raven thus relates the update of the dyad: “The southwest chapel contained a beautiful statue of Meryneith and his wife Anuy, which was glued to the ground. No indication was found for a similar type of object in the northwest chapel. One remarkable feature was present in the southwest chapel, although the room had been badly damaged over the centuries, it could still be seen that there was originally a small rectangular opening, very high in the west wall. Presumably, this formed a sort of skylight, from which the statue was lit “.

At the end of the excavation season, the limestone statue, 85 cm high, 60 cm wide, and 50 cm thick, was transported to the Cairo museum, where it was recorded in the Journal des Entrées, under the reference JE 99076.

Statue representing Meryre (Meryneith) and his wife Iniuia (Anuy) – painted limestone – 18th dynasty – reign of Akhenaton
Discovered in 2001 in their tomb at Saqqara – Recorded at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 99076 – then transferred to GEM in September 2020
(photo published on the FB page of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on 20-9-2020)

On September 20, 2020, a statement published on the FB page of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that this dyad was among the 2,000 pieces which had just been transferred from Tahrir to the Gem in Giza (Grand Egyptian Museum).

Therefore, Meryre and Iniuia have a new home now…

Marie Grillot

Sources:

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Abeer El-Shahawy, Matḥaf al-Miṣrī, n° 131
https://books.google.fr/books?id=cAyjwKyoHiEC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=Statue+of+Meryre+and+his+wife+Iniuia&source=bl&ots=GeVbi-1rAI&sig=ACfU3U1xptsoo9CvseKVRdGCFVzaoFEBeg&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8l6Oxt6rgAhXSy6QKHfU1D7U4ChDoATAAegQICBAB#v=onepage&q=Statue%20of%20Meryre%20and%20his%20wife%20Iniuia&f=false
Les fouilles de Leyde dans la tombe de Méryneith à Saqqara, campagnes 2001-2002 / M.-J. Raven [in] Bulletin de la Société française d’égyptologie, 2002, 155
https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb16971789r
http://www.enim-egyptologie.fr/cahiers/4/Pasquali_CENIM4.pdf
The Tomb of Meryneith at Saqqara, Maarten J Raven; René van Walsem; Willem F M Beex; Amanda Dunsmore; Ladislava Horáčkova; Turnhout, Belgium : Brepols Publishers, [2014]
http://www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503548760-1
The tomb of Meryneith at Saqqara, Chapter 3: The Architecture, Willem Beex, M. Raven
https://www.academia.edu/31103196/The_tomb_of_Meryneith_at_Saqqara_Chapter_3_The_Architecture
Fouilles et travaux en Égypte et au Soudan, 2002-2003, (TAB. PM), Nicolas Grimal et Emad Adly
http://www.egyptologues.net/orientalia/pdf/Orientalia_73_2004_1-149.pdf
Manuel d’archéologie égyptienne”, tome III, Les grandes époques, la statuaire, 1958 (statue 111.1), Jacques Vandier
Les statues égyptiennes du Nouvel Empire au Louvre : une synthèse, Christophe Barbotin
https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01880296/document
BIFAO 111 (2011), p. 101-104 Cherpion (Nadine), Note rectificative sur les « vrais cheveux » des dames.
http://www.ifao.egnet.net/bifao/111/06/
Les mastabas de l’ancien empire, Paris, 1889, Mariette Auguste, Maspero Gaston, p.449

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/mariette1889/0033?sid=02fcf46a77d8eaf4a9cd67e6974f1cc1

https://www.facebook.com/moantiquities/photos/pcb.3418993598146266/3418993098146316/?type=3&__tn__=HH-R&eid=ARAX8rDo1QK9Z_5fo5Ei-emVTBdTDgtw-2zGi6kBlPuaRmtesNgpU-lb4NWSaPQF9Mza6JXPUWmRDhjb&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARD8jYE5E7q5ykLvNcODzoAeBLrtH7k_TAQfINHqRbeE_1nHGUqp0c4gUsbYHmO_CpKHaJkF6pKfl_muyMVT-eEO5TNxvgIxIk4fPMQzvf-9e_bTbbsFx9KWuX2Y3mb2o9h0WnBKnElCEDN5tk_HRnS3CVc7FnG70FxYVnY0t3t2jG5OVmeB5rtT9k25aOz1U3clnudUQRdryouLd1_T2gbzWn18jp2zSXgyEzc4gjVST2MdpT-aQg8CF0ROUJFLAZyyFiPFAGRlftTTlqYQ8ygzutn3dfvzvVyBiqIM19viVPB-hUcqTMPKGZoCoaeIpS6O71etflVca-_M5rAg8–g6Q

14 thoughts on “Meryre and Iniuia: love for eternity

  1. Wow, what beautiful statues and another fascinating post! There’s always something magickal whenever I see the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine sitting next to each other, in a truly equal, sharing way. Neither holding more power over the other. Beautiful! Love and light, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elainemansfield

    Gorgeous and the sweet tenderness of her gesture toward him. I also noticed the softness of their bellies which seem so relaxed. I agree, the Divine Feminine gently reaches out to touch and support the Divine Masculine with love, and each equally powerful. It reminds me of the importance of scribes in Egypt–the power of literacy and relationship to the ibis god Thoth (Djhuty). Thank you, Aladin.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.