Seti II (or Sethos II f. Greek), The Fifth Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

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Egypt, Thebes (UNESCO World Heritage List, 1979) – Luxor – Valley of the Kings. Tomb of Seti II. Entrance. Relief (Dynasty 19, Seti II, 1214-1186 BC) (Photo by S. VANNINI/De Agostini/Getty Images)

Userkheperure Setepenre (means “Powerful are the manifestations of ReSeti II (reigned 1203 B.C.E. – 1197 B.C.E.) was the fifth Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom. His rule commenced a period known for dynastic intrigue and short reigns. Seti II had to deal with many severe plots and complications, most significantly the rise of a rival king named Amenmesses, possibly a half-brother, who seized control over Upper Egypt and Nubia during Seti II’s second to fourth regnal years. Ancient Egypt Wiki

The Tomb Of Seti II
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The name ‘Seti’ means “of Set”, which indicates that he was consecrated to the god Set (also termed “Sutekh” or “Seth”). As with most pharaohs, Seti had several names. Upon his ascension, he took the prenomen “mn-m3’t-r’ “, usually vocalised in Egyptian as Menmaatre (Established is the Justice of Re). His better-known nomen, or birth name, is transliterated as “sty mry-n-ptḥ” or Sety Merenptah, meaning “Man of Set, beloved of Ptah”. Wikipedia

Of course, Seti II has nothing to do with Sati I, who lived in the time of Moses!

Here is a brilliant reportage, by my adorable friend Marie Grilott, about the discovery of the statue of Seti II. via https://egyptophile.blogspot.com/

Sethi II, seated holding a naos of Amun-Re

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone

New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)

discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak

British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale

photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

No sooner had Giovanni Battista Belzoni succeeded, in Thebes in the summer of 1816, in the delicate operation of “removing” the bust of the young Memnon on behalf of the British consul in Egypt Henry Salt when the latter offered him a to enter his service… In fact, his interest in Pharaonic civilisation and his passion for antiquities is combined with his real diplomatic and political mission. If he is in charge of “the official mission of enriching the Egyptian department of the British Museum, ” his substantial fortune allows him to constitute his own collection concomitantly.

This is how he made Belzoni his leading “agent” in the field, providing him with money and means to buy artefacts and discover them on the sites… Belzoni quickly set up several excavation sites – including Karnak – then sailed to Aswan, where he would not return until October…

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone

New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)

discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak

British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale

photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

In “Travels in Egypt and Nubia”, he recounts his first beautiful discovery at the temple of Mut: “I found the excavations at Karnak advanced; but they had given no result, and there was no appearance that, however, it was there that I found in the space of a few days eighteen statues, six of the whole, of which number is a white statue of life-size, supposed to be that of Jupiter-Ammon. And which we now see with the others, in the British Museum”.

This statue which he specifies “was among the others in an irregular position”, will, after study, be attributed to Sethi II. Beautifully crafted, it represents the son of Merenptah and Queen Isis-Nofret II, the fifth pharaoh of the 19th dynasty. His reign – which appears to have been contested at the start and somewhat chaotic at the end – is generally dated from 1203 to 1194.

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone
New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)
discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak
British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale
photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

Of the twenty of his statues listed to date, this is the only one where he is represented seated. Sculpted in quartzite sandstone, it is 1.64m high, 0.49m wide, 0.85m deep and weighs almost 700kg!

The sovereign does not wear a headdress or royal crown, but a wig covers the back of his neck with extended side panels dipping towards the base of the neck. It is adorned with a frontal uraeus whose head is missing.

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone
New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)
discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak
British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale
photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

The face with regular features has a closed expression. The eyes are small but advantageously stretched by a make-up line and surmounted by arched eyebrows. The nose is straight, and the mouth with hemmed lips is closed.

The neck is short and contrasts with the breadth of the shoulders. The arms are thick, while the torso and waist seem rather slim. He is dressed in the shendyt: “The pleated loincloth is held by a wide belt adorned with a rhomboid decoration, from the back of which a piece of pleated fabric emerges. An animal’s tail, suspended between the legs and the sandals, completes the royal dress,” specifies the British Museum. The legs are long and muscular, and his feet, sculpted with precision, are slipped into pretty sandals.

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone
New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)
discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak
British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale
published in Gallery of Antiquities Selected from the British Museum, Francis Arundale, Samuel Birch, Joseph Bonomi

His arms are carried forward, resting on the space between his legs. “He holds a small naos or altar, with both hands before him. On which is the head of a ram, the living emblem of the god Noum, one of the types of Amoun-Ra”. (Gallery of Antiquities Selected from the British Museum, Francis Arundale, Samuel Birch, Joseph Bonomi). The face of the ram is, unfortunately, partly missing.

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone
New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)
discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak
British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale
photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

The king presents this altar, making it a “Naophore” statue. This solemn and profoundly religious act perhaps explains the rigidity of the royal attitude… “The narrow throne with a low backrest has a cushion on which the king sits. The sides of the throne are decorated with the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt, tied together to symbolise the union of the Two Lands. These plants are usually placed to match the direction of the statue and occupy the same position on either side. However, their positions are reversed: on the right side of the throne, we find the papyrus towards the back and the lotus towards the front, while on the left side, we observe the opposite,” indicates the London museum.

Statue of Sethi II seated holding a naos of Amun-Re – quartzite sandstone
New Kingdom – 19th Dynasty – Reign of Sethi II (circa 1203-1194 BC)
discovered in October 1817 by GB Belzoni on behalf of Henry Salt in the Temple of Mut at Karnak
British Museum EA 26 – acquired in 1823 at the Salt Collection sale
photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

In “Eternal Egypt”, Hourig Sourouzian thus analyses the inscriptions of the statue and its dorsal pillar: “The royal names are engraved on the shoulders: Userkheperure-Meriamun on the right, Seti-Merenptah on the left. A text on the back of the statue begins with the epithets ‘The perfect god, bold in arms, and of great strength like Montu, lord of Thebes’ and ends with the two cartouches. The royal title is also inscribed around the base, flanking the central cartouches surmounted by the solar disk. Seti II is ‘beloved of Osiris-Khentamenti’ on one side, of ‘Ptah-Sokar-Osiris’ on the other. They were gods of the Necropolis, worshipped in Abydos, Memphis and Thebes”.

This Naophorus statue entered the British Museum – in 1823 – under reference C 26 (EA 26). Nigel Strudwick clarifies the role of “ambassador” granted to him by the consul: “The statue was clearly one of Salt’s favourite objects, and he sent it to England in the autumn of 1819, long before the rest of the collection, presumably to persuade the trustees of the British Museum to buy his other objects”…

Marie Grillot

Sources:

Quartzite sandstone naophorous statue of Sety II

https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/Y_EA26

Giovanni Battista Belzoni, Travels in Egypt and Nubia https://books.google.fr/books?id=CfRbAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA259&dq=agriculture+outils+ancienne+%C3%A9gypte&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiuo-Ts1tTMAhVDYpoKHQLWAXY4HhDoAQguMAI#v=onepage&q=statue%20&f=false

Gallery of Antiquities Selected from the British Museum, Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, Francis Arundale, Samuel Birch, Joseph Bonomi https://books.google.fr/books?id=BB4GAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&hl=fr&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0&fbclid=IwAR0M_4SmZvENNUA06RsihTRbTAD3FO-Tj7SSYG6zSvhWuAxf0Rs6XuT-8-w#v=onepage&q&f=false

Edna R. Russmann Eternal Egypt: Masterworks of Ancient Art from the British Museum, 2001, (90)

Nigel Strudwick, The British Museum, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, 2006 (pp.224-225)

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