Baboons warm their stomachs by sitting up, raising their paws, and facing the sun each morning, a behavior the Egyptians interpreted as solar worship. Egyptians included baboon figures in burials to assist in the deceased's rebirth. Wild baboons had all but disappeared from around the Nile Valley by the Middle Kingdom, when this figure was made. Female baboons were placid enough to be domesticated and kept as pets, but they had to be imported at great cost from central Africa, making them exotic luxuries and conspicuous status symbols.
Faience statuette of seated cynocephalus ape in conventional pose, hands on knees, frontal. Base has rounded back. Remains of a blue-green glaze. Condition: Only scattered patches of glaze remain. Left hand of ape worn.