(fl mid-7th century bc; d before 647 bc). Egyptian priest, administrator and patron. First documented in Thebes under the Kushite king Taharqa, Mentuemhet survived the subsequent Assyrian invasion and sack of Thebes, and he continued to control most of Upper Egypt even after the reunification of the country in 656 bc under the 26th (Saite) Dynasty. He is mentioned in an oracle papyrus dated to 651 bc.
During the 26th Dynasty, numerous aspects of ancient Egyptian culture were revived, including artistic, religious and linguistic traditions; motifs and styles of earlier periods were deliberately copied, creating a consciously archaic style. This is somewhat misleadingly called the ‘Saite Renaissance’.
Mentuemhet possessed the status and wealth to wield a powerful influence on his age both politically and artistically. Over a dozen statues reflect a wide range of earlier tastes and styles (e.g. Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 42236, see fig., and London, BM, ...