Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Ivory statuette of a nude woman with strongly curvaceous body; carved; back of the buttocks carefully carved away, and a pair of diminutive dimples carved at the base of the spine; head, part of the legs and the front missing.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 2000BC-1500BC (about)
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 21 centimetres (extant)
    • Width: 5 centimetres
    • Thickness: 3.3 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Although usually compared to ancient Egyptian mirror handles, etc, the deliberately scooped portion on the buttocks implies that this figure was originally set against a lightly curved object, and therefore probably originally stood upright as a mounted statuette. A close analogy for this stance and feature on the reverse is the much later gilt-silver statuette in the Oxus Treasure (BM 123905). The fact that the present object may have been stood upright may also explain the sheared-away front.

    Following his return from the 1970 archaeological congress in Bahrain, R.D. Barnett requested that the Research Laboratory make a cast of this object which could be presented to the Bahraini museum authorities (ANE Corres, 5 May 1970, q.v. Werner). He had previously considered taking this and several other objects (130591-92, 130595-602) as a loan during the time of this conference but the objects were never taken by Barnett owing to problems with air travel. This object was sent for moulding between 2 July 1970 and 25 August 1971; it was returned for moulding between 14 September 1971 and 8 October 1974 and returned there again between 6 March 1975 and 24 February1977 (WAA, 'Objects to Lab' book).


  • Bibliography

    • During Caspers E C L 1989a bibliographic details
    • Reade & Burleigh 1978a bibliographic details
    • Nayeem M A 1992a p.372, fig.21 bibliographic details
    • Mackay E 1929a pl. I: no. 1 bibliographic details
    • Barnett & Davies 1975a U.15 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history


    2000, London, Brunei Gallery SOAS, 'Traces of Paradise: Archaeology of Bahrain'

    1970s-1990s, BM, Room of Ivories

  • Condition

    Incomplete; lower portion of the left leg re-attached.

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number



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Object reference number: WCO30056

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