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Face and Shoulder from an Anthropoid Sarcophagus

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

The rough, coarse surface of the original material revealed in the damage on this fragment stands in contrast to the magnificence of the highly polished basalt. In the later periods of Egyptian history, artists and their patrons preferred a shiny finish for stone statues and sarcophagi. The delicate shape of the face, the outlined eyes with slightly upturned eyebrows, the high cheekbones, and the full, smiling lips are characteristic of the Ptolemaic Period.
MEDIUM Black basalt
  • Possible Place Collected: Giza, Egypt
  • DATES 332-30 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XXVI Dynasty or later
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 18 1/8 x 21 1/4 x 4 3/4 in. (46 x 54 x 12 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.1516E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Face and Shoulder from an Anthropoid Sarcophagus, 332-30 B.C.E. Black basalt, 18 1/8 x 21 1/4 x 4 3/4 in. (46 x 54 x 12 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.1516E. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE installation, Body Parts Installation (2009), CUR.37.1516E_view2_bodyparts.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragment of the cover of a polished black basalt anthropoid sarcophagus. The fragment preserves most of the face, and part of the shoulders. The figure wears a smooth lappet wig; part of a wig is preserved. The eyebrows, in relief, are horizontal; the eyes are outlined with cosmetic lines. The eyeballs are slightly bulging, and the lower lid first dips then rises towards the outer edge of the eye. The nose is broad, and the filtrum is well indicated. The mouth smiles with the corners of the mouth being slightly drawn up. The lips are large, and there is a deep indentation at each corner of the mouth. There are no furrows in the face. Part of rear surface, in the area of the neck, show the original polished surface; the rest of the rear surface is rough. Condition: The nose and eyelids are chipped; top of the head missing.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (82%)
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