- Museum number
Ostracon with a scene of sex: limestone ostracon with black-painted scene showing a man having sexual intercourse with a woman. There is a hieroglyphic caption in front of the woman.
Height: 13.80 centimetres
Weight: 0.75 kilograms
Width: 19 centimetres
Depth: 3.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The standing position of intercourse is the one most frequently represented in art, but this need not suggest that it was particularly popular; the woman's figure is slightly androgynous - presumably there was no need to indicate the sex strongly, since it would be assumed from the posture. The purpose of such scenes is uncertain: sexual activity was associated with religious festivity, but the nature of the 'Erotic Papyrus' in Turin and the sketchiness of this and other examples suggest a frivolous, throw-away quality, like doodles on papyri. The use of hieroglyphic as against hieratic script may suggest that the scene parodies more decorous representations.
For this type of representation cf. Jos. A. Omlin, 'Der Papyrus 55001 und seine Satirisch-erotischen Zeichnungen und Inschriften' (Turin, 1973), p. 35, scene 9.
L. Manniche,'Some aspects of ancient Egyptian sexual life', in 'Acta Orientalia' 28 (1977), 10-23, fig. 3;
W.H. Peck, 'Drawings from Ancient Egypt' (London, 1978), no. 83;
C.Johns, 'Erotica', British Museum Pocket Treasury (London, 1997), 12-13.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2013, Apr - Jul, Paris, Louvre, L'Art Du Contour
2013/2014, Sept - Jan, Musée royaux d’art et d’histoire, Brussels, L'Art Du Contour
2018 -2019, 6 Sep - 20 Jan, London, BM, G35, I Object
- fair (incomplete)
- Acquisition date
- Egypt and Sudan
- BM/Big number
- Registration number