The group statue displayed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo represents King Ramesses III, positioned centrally between the gods Horus and Seth. This artifact originally belonged to Amenhotep III and was part of a set from his mortuary temple at Kom el-Hettan, designed to depict royal coronation rituals in a three-dimensional form. These rituals were traditionally shown in relief and painting. Ramesses III later moved and altered these sculptures at Medinet Habu, changing the names and faces of Amenhotep III to his own, in a manner considered crude by some historians.
Subsequent historical events led to the desecration of representations of Seth during the 25th or 26th Dynasty, where images of Seth were destroyed or erased, impacting statues like this one. The Seth figure in the Cairo Museum group is entirely reconstructed, as no original parts of it survived. This indicates heavy restoration work, contrasting with the original artistic intent.
The current configuration of the statue with Ramesses III, Horus, and the reconstructed Seth placing a crown on the king's head, is meant to symbolize the pharaoh's dual coronation and the unity of Egypt. However, it's important to note that this representation has been significantly influenced by historical alterations and restorations.
The statue, dating back to the New Kingdom's 20th Dynasty during the reign of Ramesses III (circa 1186-1155 BC), is made from granite and was originally from Medinet Habu. The modifications and history of restoration reflect the changing religious and political landscapes of ancient Egypt, as well as the challenges in preserving its cultural heritage.
This description acknowledges the artifact's complex history, from its inception for Amenhotep III, through Ramesses III's modifications, to the later erasure of Seth's figure and the statue's restoration. It illustrates the dynamics of ancient Egyptian religion, art, and politics, without delving into the more creative aspects of the narrative.