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figure

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA69469

  • Description

    A hollow terracotta standing figure of a female saint or beneficent demon, with her hands raised in blessing and protection. She has a triangular hairstyle, the hair indicated by raised pellets, round and oval, and by paint. Holes are pierced through the hair at ear level and near the top. She may wear a long sleeved tunic with clavi indicated by painted verticals. The breasts are widely spaced and she wears a garland or necklace. Her toes are indicated above a flaring plinth, hollow underneath. The back is rough and spalled: it may have had decoration in relief but this is uncertain. Two-piece mould. Pink Aswan kaolinite clay, with mica; overall worn buff slip. There are traces of yellow colour on hair, back and front, probably fired on. There are also details in black fired-on ceramic colour: the edges of the hair, with radiating lines on the front; the eyes and nose; patches on each side of the neck; cross-hatching on the throat; lines along the forearms, a double cross-band below the breasts and extending onto the upper arms; vertical lines on the garment below the breasts, reaching to the base.

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  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 15.2 centimetres
    • Width: 6.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Terracotta IV
    Donated: British School of Archaeology in Egypt. Excavation No. 23/621. From the western part of the South Cemetery at Qau/ Antaiopolis (Cemetery 600, Grave 621); the position of this grave is shown on Brunton 1927 et al.: pl. iii; see also bibliog. below.

    Late Roman, sixth to seventh century AD.

    Comparanda:
    Close: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, E.P.444 (head only).
    Near: Adams 2000: 92: fig. 30f, pl. 20c:5 and 7 (both Nile silt), from Meinarti in Nubia, from a context between about the late fifth and the mid-seventh century AD; Alliot 1933: pl. xv:6, from Edfu; Ballet and Mahmoud 1987: pl. xiv:13, a mould from Elephantine, dated first third of seventh century AD = Ballet 1991: 501 and Ballet 1996: pl. iv, fig. 13; Bisson de la Roque 1930: 55, fig. 50:2, from Medamud; Doetsch-Amberger 1987: 123, no. 251; Duncan 1906: pl. xlii:19, from a late Roman grave at Gheyta, north-east of Tell el-Yahudiya in the eastern Delta (head only); Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, e.7.1924 (head only); Friedman 1989: 225, no. 138, dated possibly sixth to seventh century AD; Mond and Myers 1940: pl. lxix:10, from Armant; Polaczek-Zdanowicz 1974: 196, no. 1, from Edfu, context of sixth to seventh century AD; Polaczek-Zdanowicz 1975: 146, fig. 7, from Edfu, dated seventh century AD; Strzygowski 1904: 245, no. 7131, from Kom Ishgau (Aphrodito, south of Asyut = Quibell 1902: 85-8, pl. ii, with suggested date of c. ad 600); Wendrich 1995: 31, fig. 12, from Berenike, dated fifth to sixth century AD.
    Not unlike: Loat 1905: pl. xviii:5, from a tomb at Gurob, probably sixth or seventh century AD = Petrie 1927: pl. lv :603.

    Bibliog: Brunton 1930: 25, 621: 'Child of about 12 years: two rough dolls of pottery and wood were at the head, and a third, of wood, at the feet'; see also ibid.: 29 and pl. xxxix:621. The distribution list on p. 36 states that the grave-group 621 was sent to the V&A Museum: two carved wooden figures, A.87 and A.88-1923 in the Department of Sculpture, seem likely to be the 'dolls' concerned: these were transferred to the British Museum in 1977.

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  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 3391 bibliographic details
  • Location

    G66/5

  • Condition

    fair

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    2 March 1992

    Treatment proposal

    Clean.

    Condition

    The object has been previously conserved. The pigmented surface is stable but slightly dirty.

    Treatment details

    Surface cleaned gently using Rowney kneadable putty rubber applied on a cocktail stick.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1982

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA69469

  • Registration number

    1982,0526.219

  • Additional IDs

    • V&A.C673-1923
Terracotta female figure; arms raised; purple painted decoration.

Terracotta female figure; arms raised; purple painted decoration.

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA64681

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