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Headless Statuette of a Scribe

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor

The Egyptians valued literacy even more than physical strength or military prowess. Individuals wishing to immortalize their wisdom and education frequently commissioned statues of themselves as scribes, professional men whose income derived from their great learning rather than physical labor. Images of scribes, showing their subjects seated with papyrus rolls in their laps, were placed in tombs as early as the Fourth Dynasty (circa 2625–2500 B.C.).

  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938-1875 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY XII Dynasty
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 6 7/16 x 4 13/16 x 5 9/16 in. (16.4 x 12.3 x 14.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Headless Statuette of a Scribe, ca. 1938-1875 B.C.E. Gneiss, 6 7/16 x 4 13/16 x 5 9/16 in. (16.4 x 12.3 x 14.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 73.87.1. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, CUR.73.87.1_NegB_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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    Headless Statuette of a Scribe