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Jar Made in Two Parts

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egypt Reborn: Art for Eternity, Pre-Dynastic, Egyptian Galleries, 3rd Floor
Early Sculpture

Almost all of the small figures in this case originally were placed in temples.


We do not know the significance of many of these early objects. The lion probably embodied divine or royal power, and frogs may have provided protection during childbirth, as in later times.

The figure of a squatting little boy in this case may have been offered to a god as the expression of a wish to bear children. The destructive powers of animals such as pigs, hippos, and scorpions could apparently be neutralized and even made useful through their images, as in the hippo-headed top of a mace (war club).

The ivory lioness was part of a common board game, of which partial sets have survived. The opposing side’s pieces were carved ivory figures of crouching lions or dogs.
MEDIUM Egyptian alabaster
  • Place Excavated: Ma'mariya, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 2800-2675 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY II Dynasty
    PERIOD early Dynastic Period
    DIMENSIONS 4 5/16 x Diam. 5 7/8 in. (10.9 x 15 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 07.447.27a-b
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Jar Made in Two Parts, ca. 2800-2675 B.C.E. Egyptian alabaster, 4 5/16 x Diam. 5 7/8 in. (10.9 x 15 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.27a-b. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE component, CUR.07.447.27a-b_view2_erg3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/21/2007
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Good (78%)
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