This statue originates from Ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. The rule took place in the New Kingdom period (approximately 1391-1353 BCE) within the 18th Dynasty, a time of significant prosperity. The statue stands approximately 270 cm tall and is constructed from granodiorite, a type of hard, igneous rock.
The statue is classified as a sphinx, a mythical creature characterized by a lion's body and human head. It presents with the human likeness of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, suggesting his divine authority and guardianship over the society of the time.
The granodiorite used in the statue's construction is carefully shaped, demonstrating the high level of technical skill possessed by ancient Egyptian sculptors. Artistic detail on the statue's elements, such as the nemes headdress, the uraeus on the forehead, and the ceremonial beard, underscore the intricate craftsmanship during this period.
The original design of the statue likely included inlaid eyes and could have been highlighted with coloured pigment for a realistic appearance. The statue's front paws cross over a representation of the nine bows, symbolizing the Pharaoh’s victory over Egypt's traditional enemies.
The statue was typically positioned in a temple complex, presumably near an entrance or gateway. Given its association with the sun god Ra due to its lion form, it would have served a particular religious or ritualistic purpose. Although the exact historical context has been lost through the centuries, the statue encapsulates the essence of the pharaoh and offers insights into the artistic, religious and political milieu of the New Kingdom period.