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Female Figurine

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This figurine, one of the oldest statuettes ever excavated in Egypt, perhaps represents a priestess or a goddess dancing or performing ritualized mourning at a funeral ritual.
MEDIUM Terracotta, painted
  • Reportedly From: Ma'mariya
  • DATES ca. 3650-3300 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Predynastic Period, Naqada IIa Period
    DIMENSIONS 13 3/8 x 5 x 2 1/2 in. (34 x 12.7 x 6.4 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 07.447.502
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Female Figurine, ca. 3650-3300 B.C.E. Terracotta, painted, 13 3/8 x 5 x 2 1/2 in. (34 x 12.7 x 6.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.502. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 07.447.502_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE 3/4 front right, 07.447.502_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Pottery figurine of a woman, similar to No. 505, but narrower. Small head, with beak-like face, on long neck, expanding to shoulders. Rather long breasts. Waist gracefully curving into uplifted arms, with hands turned in and pointed, thumbs detached, fingers separated by sharp grooves on both sides, and probably graded as in No. 505; wrists and elbows not indicated. Long legs, without feet, peg-shaped, their separation indicated by very shallow groove. Proportions rather more elongated than natural. "Steatopygy" pronounced; torso flat. Fine brownish pottery, painted red no body; black (thickly laid on) on hair; whitish, indicating cloth, from hips down; blackened near "feet" in front. Very fine specimen. Condition: Lacking left hand and fingers of right hand. Lower part repaired, twice near "knees"; right arm repaired at elbow; left arm repaired at shoulders. Some repainting on torso. White paint and "hair" mostly lost.
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