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Relief of Mourning Women

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
New Kingdom funerals often featured female mourners wailing and gesturing dramatically. Although sometimes called “professional mourners,” more likely these local women joined the funeral procession to express solidarity and sorrow, and also to participate in a public event.

The sloppy carving and indistinct lines show that the sculptor of this tomb relief was relatively unskilled, but he did successfully convey how ancient women demonstrated grief by throwing dust on their heads and even falling to the ground. The different shapes of the figures indicate different ages.
MEDIUM Limestone, remains of stucco
  • Possible Place Made: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1319-1204 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18 to early Dynasty 19
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 11 7/16 x 16 1/4 x 2 13/16 in. (29 x 41.2 x 7.2 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Relief of Mourning Women, ca. 1319-1204 B.C.E. Limestone, remains of stucco, 11 7/16 x 16 1/4 x 2 13/16 in. (29 x 41.2 x 7.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.31E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.31E_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.31E_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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