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Sumerian Foundation Figurine

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Ancient Middle Eastern Art, The Hagop Kevorkian Gallery, 3rd Floor
Here, the head and torso of a male figure with clasped hands tops a pointed peg. Such figures, pounded into the ground near the foundations of important buildings, were believed to provide magical protection.
CULTURE Sumerian
MEDIUM Copper alloy
DATES ca. 2900 B.C.E.-2500 B.C.E.
PERIOD Early Dynastic II Period
DIMENSIONS 5 11/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 in. (14.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of The Roebling Society
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CAPTION Sumerian. Sumerian Foundation Figurine, ca. 2900 B.C.E.-2500 B.C.E. Copper alloy, 5 11/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 in. (14.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, 81.7. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE front, 81.7_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Copper foundation figurine; male figure standing, facing front, arms bent at elbows and hands held to chest; lower part of body rendered as long peg; oval face with wide horizontal mouth; long hair arranged in horizontal strands falling onto upper back; torso summarily modeled, square in section; peg circular in section. Condition: Figure nearly completely covered by brownish green patina, patches of green brightest on forehead, lips, chest, left arm, back, and most of peg; tiny patch of red on front of peg near top; original copper color visible on tips of nose and peg; end of peg eroded and misshapen.
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