Statue of the demon Imseti holding a knife.
From the tomb of the priest-official Mentuemhat. Black granite. From Asasif, Thebes.
Late Period. Late 25th-early 26th Dynasty, ca. 660-650 BC.
Inscribed on its base with the name and titles of the owner Mentuemhat, a prominent figure, who lived during the reigns of Taharka (25th Dynasty) and Psammetichus I (26th Dynasty). Mentuemhat was fourth prophet of Ammon, prince of Thebes and governor of Upper Egypt. He died around 648 B.C. and was buried in a famous funerary complex (TT34) in the Asasif valley in Western Thebes.
The statue depicts the demon Imseti, one of the funerary demons, who protected the deceased and his mummified viscera. In Mentuemhat’s funerary complex, 18 demons were placed in an equal number of niches around Mentuemhat’s sarcophagus; of these, nine are preserved around the world.