Representations of female figures with highly abstracted forms occur throughout most of the Predynastic Period. On statuettes of this period, the legs are usually not articulated and the faces are beaklike. This rare undamaged example, one of the oldest works in the Brooklyn Museum, was found in a burial excavated by the Museum's first archaeological expedition in Egypt. The symbolism, function, and identity of the figure are not certain. However, similar female figures painted on Predynastic vessels appear to be goddesses, because they are always larger than the male "priests" shown with them.
Medium: Terracotta, painted
Reportedly From: Ma'mariya, Egypt
Dates: ca. 3500-3400 B.C.E.
Period: Predynastic Period, Naqada IIa Period
Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (29.2 x 14 x 5.7 cm)
Collections: Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Middle Eastern Art