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Relief of Mourning Women

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, 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 indicate that that 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
  • Place Made: Saqqara, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1319-1204 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late XVIII Dynasty-early XIX Dynasty
    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)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 37.31E
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Relief of Mourning Women, ca. 1319-1204 B.C.E. Limestone, 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
    IMAGE overall, 37.31E_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
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