Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
The hollow body of this hedgehog figure contains tiny pellets that rattled when it was shaken. The ancient Egyptians used rattles to ward off harmful forces such as snakes, scorpions, or malevolent spirits. When attacked, a hedgehog rolls into a ball, exposing a mass of pointed spines to the predator. To the Egyptians, this behavior—imitated in this figure—made the hedgehog an ideal protective symbol.
ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E.
XII Dynasty-early XIII Dynasty
3 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. (7.6 x 4.4 x 3.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Hedgehog Rattle, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E. Faience, painted, 3 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. (7.6 x 4.4 x 3.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.186. Creative Commons-BY
x-ray, detail, CONS.59.186_xrs_detail01.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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