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Egyptian Man in a Persian Costume

Occasionally Egyptians wore foreign costumes and jewelry. The taste for non-Egyptian fashion arose during periods of extensive trade or diplomatic contact with distant courts, or when Egypt was controlled by a foreign power. The Persians, who twice invaded the Nile Valley from their Iranian homeland, dominated Egypt during Dynasty 27 (525–404 B.C.) and Dynasty 31 (342–332 B.C.). This statue dates to the later period of Persian rule in Egypt.

The long skirt shown wrapped around this statue's body and tucked in at the upper edge of the garment is typically Persian. The necklace, called a torque, is decorated with images of ibexes, symbols in ancient Persia of agility and sexual prowess. The depiction of this official in Persian dress may have been a demonstration of loyalty to the new rulers.

Catalogue Description:
One grey granite male figure preserved from shortly below the navel up to the top of the head. The figure wears a bag wig, and wrap-around garment. On top and in front of the wig is a flat-topped projection of stone used by the sculptor as a reference point while carving statue. The garment has, as can be seen on the sides of the figure behind the arms, flaring sleeves; and it is likely, as evidenced by the slightly forward bend of the lower part of the garment, that the figure once held a naos before him. In the rear is a back pillar, with top in the form of a truncated pyramid which rises up beyond the lower edge of the wig. Condition: Broken off diagonally just below navel. Lips and nose battered; large chip out of chin; other small chip and scratches. Projection on tip of wig, area of wig around it and forehead are restored.


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