Image Resources | Currently on View in Leah and Charles Redish Gallery
The long, triangular kilt worn by the subject may mark him as an official. Shorter kilts were fashionable during the Old Kingdom, but longer kilts were worn by the upper class and by older men. Most officials and elites of the Old Kingdom were buried in mastabas, free-standing tomb structures made of mud-brick. The central part of these tombs included an offering room, with a false door before which visitors could make offerings.
Statues such as this one would have been placed in a hidden room, called the serdab, behind the false door. The ka (soul) of the deceased could accept offerings through its serdab. Tomb maintenance was important in ensuring a successful afterlife, and families of the deceased were expected to regularly make offerings of food and wine.