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Statuette of Seated Cynocephalus Ape

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Old Kingdom to 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor

Baboons warm their stomachs by sitting up, raising their paws, and facing the sun each morning, a behavior the Egyptians interpreted as solar worship. Egyptians included baboon figures in burials to assist in the deceased's rebirth. Wild baboons had all but disappeared from around the Nile Valley by the Middle Kingdom, when this figure was made. Female baboons were placid enough to be domesticated and kept as pets, but they had to be imported at great cost from central Africa, making them exotic luxuries and conspicuous status symbols.

MEDIUM Faience
  • Place Excavated: Lisht, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty-early XIII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1 3/4 in. (6.4 x 3.8 x 4.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Statuette of Seated Cynocephalus Ape, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E. Faience, 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 1 3/4 in. (6.4 x 3.8 x 4.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 59.199.3. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.59.199.3_erg2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 10/27/2008
    "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 Faience statuette of seated cynocephalus ape in conventional pose, hands on knees, frontal. Base has rounded back. Remains of a blue-green glaze. Condition: Only scattered patches of glaze remain. Left hand of ape worn.
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    Statuette of Seated Cynocephalus Ape