It is a piece of luck that exactly this piece of the statue of the old man has been preserved because it almost makes us forget how fragmentary it is. Only the face is preserved, together with a part of the bag-shaped wig and some of the neck. Nothing remains of his garments. Nevertheless, the damage to the statue does not impair the impact of this sculpture, which is considered to be among the most fascinating products of Egyptian art.
We are dealing with a very important masterpiece from the later phases of ancient Egyptian history. The accurate rendition of the anatomy and the marks of old age may be ascribed to Hellenistic influence, but there is also evidence of the native Egyptian tradition of the Late Period which underlies this development.
It is a great pity that we do not know the identity of the person depicted. It is without doubt a person marked by the responsibilities and burdens of high office and by a successful career. The current state of knowledge does not allow a precise dating of the sculpture. Most comparable pieces, such as the "green heads" in Berlin and Boston, are likewise uninscribed and their dates remain much debated. A date in the middle of the Ptolemaic period, in the third century BC, seems reasonable. It is clear that the fragment has preserved a fascinating portrait of one of the people who played a leading role in the political and religious life of the country at that time.
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