Tomb Relief of Nykateti



Tomb Relief of Nykateti




2435-2152 BC


Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5 - Dynasty 6


51 x 18 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (129.5 x 47.6 x 3.8 cm)

Object Number



This commanding relief sculpture would have originally stood in the entrance to a doorway to a tomb chapel. It depicts the tomb owner, identified by the hieroglyphic inscription above, as "Nykateti, overseer of the palace physicians and scribe of the magicians." He is shown reborn, striding forth from the tomb, dressed in a kilt with a broad apron front, holding a handkerchief in one hand and a staff of office in the other. He has a beaded broad collar around his neck and wears the short beard and layered wig typical of the period.

The relief would originally have been brightly painted, and would have greeted visitors coming to leave offerings at the chapel for the mummy buried far below. Even now the crisp carving has lost none of its dramatic impact and it would have challenged all who came to the cemetery to pay their respects to the spirit of Nykateti.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. Teasley


From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian and Classical Antiquities at Emory, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 14 - April 2, 2006|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, 2006 - Present|
Sotheby's, New York, Egyptian, Classical, and Near Eastern Antiquities (June 10 - 11, 1983), lot 35.|
Tim Ayers, Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's, 1982-83: Two Hundred and Forty-Nineth Season (Totowa, NJ: Sotheby Publication, 1983), 336.|
Sotheby's, New York, The Charles Pankow Collection of Egyptian Art (December 8, 2004), 36, number 29.|
MCCM Newsletter, September - November 2005.|
Peter Lacovara and Jasper Gaunt, "From Pharaohs to Emperors: Egyptian, Near Eastern & Classical Antiquities at Emory," Minerva 17 (January/February 2006): 9-16.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
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“Tomb Relief of Nykateti,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed June 3, 2020,

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