The Ka-Aper Statue, dating from approximately 2450-2350 BC during Egypt's Old Kingdom period, is a prime example of the superior craftsmanship of the time. This wooden statue, measuring 45 inches in height, is colloquially known as 'Sheikh el-Balad' or 'Village Mayor', noted for its extraordinarily realistic appearance.

The figure is depicted in a relaxed, slightly forward step, a popular pose in Egyptian sculpture signifying advancement or power. Constructed from sycamore wood, the sculpture's physique suggests an older yet robust and athletic individual of notable status. Detailed features, such as belly-fat and muscular contours, are accurately rendered, portraying an authentic rather than idealized figure.

The head is intricately hand-carved from a solid limestone block, noteworthy for its detailed workmanship. The face exhibits an elegant, contemplative expression, highlighted by sagging eyelids and a gentle smile. The eyes, fashioned from rock crystal ringed with copper and situated within white plaster, are indispensable features known as the 'Eyes of Ka-Aper'. Their brilliance contributes to the figure's uncannily lifelike presence.

The figure's head is covered with a wig of uniform, small, tight curls, representative of the period's hairstyle. A short skirt, worn by the figure, delineates his status as either a priest or an official, with the pleats indicated by finely inscribed lines. The left hand holds a symbolic staff, while the right is clenched, adhering to the Egyptian sculptural norms distinguishing between genders.

On the statue's rear is an inventory number for tracking purposes during transit. Additionally, a hieroglyphic inscription on the base identifies the figure as "Ka-Aper", denoting his priestly role, and more specifically a 'lector', or a reader of religious texts during ceremonies.

Egyptian Museum in Cairo