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Foundation Figurine

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

Here, the head and torso of a male figure with clasped hands tops a pointed peg. Such figures, pounded into the ground near the foundations of important buildings, were believed to provide magical protection.
MEDIUM Copper alloy
DATES ca. 2900 B.C.E.–2500 B.C.E.
PERIOD Early Dynastic II Period
DIMENSIONS 5 11/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 in. (14.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of The Roebling Society
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Copper foundation figurine; male figure standing, facing front, arms bent at elbows and hands held to chest; lower part of body rendered as long peg; oval face with wide horizontal mouth; long hair arranged in horizontal strands falling onto upper back; torso summarily modeled, square in section; peg circular in section. Condition: Figure nearly completely covered by brownish green patina, patches of green brightest on forehead, lips, chest, left arm, back, and most of peg; tiny patch of red on front of peg near top; original copper color visible on tips of nose and peg; end of peg eroded and misshapen.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Sumerian. Foundation Figurine, ca. 2900 B.C.E.–2500 B.C.E. Copper alloy, 5 11/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 in. (14.5 x 5 x 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Roebling Society, 81.7. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 81.7_front_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE front, 81.7_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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