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date: 15 October 2019

Taharqa [Bibl. Tirhakah]locked

(reg 690–664 bc).
  • Edna R. Russmann


[Bibl. Tirhakah]

(reg 690–664 bc).

Third king of the Egyptian 25th Dynasty (c. 750–c 656 bc), a line of Egyptianized foreigners from Kush (see Nubia, §IV). Biblical references, Assyrian records and his own numerous monuments have made Taharqa’s name synonymous with Kushite rule in Egypt. His sculptural and architectural styles epitomize 25th Dynasty art (see Egypt, ancient, §IX, 1). His representations are strongly archaizing, with broad shoulders, slim hips and muscular legs emulating royal sculpture of the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2150 bc). The bodies of Taharqa’s finest statues (e.g. two torsos of standing figures found at North Karnak; Cairo, Egyp. Mus., JE 39403–4) combine elegance and strength in a manner seldom seen in Egyptian royal sculpture after the Middle Kingdom (c. 2008–c. 1630 bc).

Some of his regalia was uniquely Kushite. Though he was portrayed wearing all the major Egyptian crowns, except the helmet-like Blue Crown, most frequently he was shown with a broad fillet, tied over a headdress that closely followed the shape of the skull and hairline. Opinions differ as to whether it represents close-cropped hair or a tight-fitting cap. Even more distinctive were a ram’s-head amulet and, at the front of the headdress, a double-uraeus cobra (instead of the single uraeus worn by Egyptian kings since the 1st Dynasty (...

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