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Figure of a Male Child

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Early Sculpture

Almost all of the small figures in this case originally were placed in temples.


We do not know the significance of many of these early objects. The lion probably embodied divine or royal power, and frogs may have provided protection during childbirth, as in later times.

The figure of a squatting little boy in this case may have been offered to a god as the expression of a wish to bear children. The destructive powers of animals such as pigs, hippos, and scorpions could apparently be neutralized and even made useful through their images, as in the hippo-headed top of a mace (war club).

The ivory lioness was part of a common board game, of which partial sets have survived. The opposing side’s pieces were carved ivory figures of crouching lions or dogs.
MEDIUM Limestone
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATIONS
DATES ca. 3000-2675 B.C.E.
DYNASTY I Dynasty-II Dynasty
PERIOD Early Dynastic Period
DIMENSIONS 2 9/16 x 1 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. (6.5 x 4.4 x 4.1 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 58.14.1
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION Figure of a Male Child, ca. 3000-2675 B.C.E. Limestone, 2 9/16 x 1 3/4 x 1 5/8 in. (6.5 x 4.4 x 4.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, 58.14.1. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.58.14.1_erg3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.58.14.1_erg3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/20/2007
"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 Limestone statuette of a seated boy. Figure squats on haunches with knees raised, right elbow on knee with hand raised to mouth. Left hand rests on knee; body apparently nude. Probably a votive offering for a male child or for some purpose connected with one. Condition: Entire surface worn. Several cracks run through sculpture, particularly through the head.
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