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date: 23 August 2019

Sheikh el-Beled [Ka-aper]locked

  • Ian M. E. Shaw



(flc. 2465 bc). Egyptian chief lector–priest. His mastaba tomb (labelled C8) is near the pyramid of the 5th Dynasty king Userkaf (regc. 2465–c. 2458 bc) in North Saqqara. An uninscribed wooden standing statue (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., CG 34) was found in Tomb C8 when it was excavated by Mariette in 1860. Mariette’s workmen gave the statue its nickname, ‘Sheikh el-Beled’ (Arab.: ‘headman of the village’).

The life-size, sycamore-wood statue, originally covered in plaster, represents Ka-aper as a stout, middle-aged figure dressed in a straight skirt tied at the waist. It is perhaps the best-known of Old Kingdom private statues (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (iii), (a)), displaying a remarkable realism with the round face and plump stomach clearly indicating the comfortable prosperity of a chief priest. The pose of the figure, standing with left foot forward, is typical of male funerary sculpture of the Old Kingdom. The left arm is bent at the elbow and originally held a staff (now restored), and the right arm is straight at his side holding a ...

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W. Helck, E. Otto and W. Westendorff, eds: Lexikon der Ägyptologie (Wiesbaden, 1975–)