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Temple column fragments of Rameses II

1279 - 1213 BC

These two massive granite fragments join together to create the middle and upper sections of a column that once stood in the temple of Herishef at Ihnasya el-Medina in Middle Egypt, near the mouth of the Fayum.

The larger of the two fragments, which bears scenes of Rameses II offering to Osiris, would have been positioned beneath the second, which is inscribed with cartouches of this king. Remains of the upper sections of the scenes can be seen in the lowest part of this top fragment, including the sun discs flanked by uraei which would have been above Rameses’ head.

The complete column, with its now lost palm capital, was originally about 5 metres high. It formed a row with seven other matching columns in the temple’s portico, a structure that marked the transition from the open court into the enclosed space of the temple’s hypostyle hall. Other columns, or their fragments, are now in museums in Australia (Adelaide), America (Boston, Philadelphia), and England (Manchester, London).