On three of his tutor statues all constructed as block statues (Berlin No.
Senenmut 2296, Cairo CG 42114 and 42116) Senenmut let engrave on the surface of
each statue on both sides in front of the wig a strange figure.
Tutor statue of Senenmut with Neferu-Ra, Ägyptisches Museum,
Berlin No. 2296
Above the drawing on the left side of the upper surface of the cube, below the
drawing of the right side (photos: L. Franke).
On the left a drawing of the figure carved on the left side (frontal view) of
the upper surface of the cube, i. e. in front of the right shoulder of Senenmut,
on the right the figure carved on the right side (from: Drioton, ASAE 38, 1938)..
The meaning of these figures were unknown for a long time until Drioton (ASAE 38, 1938,
231-246) solved the riddle.
The basic form of the left figure is the shape of a flying
vulture which reminds of the crown goddess Nekhbet. The figure is supplemented
by an "Udjat" eye, which forms a part of the body, and by an Ka-sign, which is
seized by the claws of the Nekhbet in place of the Shen-ring (which is usually
hold by the claws of Nekhbet).
The cosmic aspect of Nekhbet, who is regarded also as "right eye of Ra", leads
to the goddess Maat. The Maat herself is connected with the body of the sun, which is
her meat and her bones, therefore the Maat represented by all elements of the
eye surrounding the pupil.
The Udjat-eye symbolizes the sun god Ra.
According to Drioton all signs have to be read together as the throne name of
Hatshepsut - Maat-ka-Ra.
The basic form of the right figure is a walking man, who carries a long stick in
one hand and an anx in the other. The long stick has the from of a wAs-sign.
The face of the figure is invisible. On the head the figure carries a
combination of the two signs wAs and anx.
According to Drioton the invisible face of the head stands for the Egyptian
words Imn-@At (Imn = hidden and HAt = front of the
body or face, first).
The combination of the signs wAs and anx on the head is to be read
after Drioton as "noble (= Sps)" things "united (= Xnm)" on the
Read in the correct order the words form the birth name of Hatshepsut = @At-Spswt-xnmt-jmn.
One may of course interpret the encrypted figures on these block statues as a
sign of a special admiration of queen Hatshepsut by Senenmut. His special
admiration is documented elsewhere, e.g. n the 2 scenes in the decorated first
chamber of TT353 where Senenmut is shown worshipping the names of Hatshepsut.
However, further statements about the relationship between Senenmut and
Hatshepsut can not be derived from these cryptograms - and any conclusion drawn
on these figures must be considered to be highly speculative.