Fragment of Figurine of Woman
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
Called “Bird Ladies” because of their birdlike heads, these figurines are painted with long white skirts; the remains of black pitch on the heads of a few indicate added hair or wigs. Two types are known—the majority have raised arms, while others have “stub-arms,” which may indicate a flattened version of arms bent below the breasts. Similar Predynastic figures, with more human but featureless round heads, occur on painted pottery made in the same era (an example is on view in the Egyptian galleries on the third floor).
Excavated figurines of both types come from burials. These examples were among sixteen deposited in one tomb. Perhaps they represent goddesses, priestesses, or mourners; their presence in tombs suggests a function connected to the mortuary ritual or the rebirth of the deceased.
ca. 3650-3300 B.C.E.
Predynastic Period, Naqada IIa Period
2 1/16 x 1 15/16 x 11/16 in. (5.2 x 4.9 x 1.8 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Fragment of terracotta figurine of woman; head and bust to just beneath breasts only. Armless, with bird-like round head and small breasts. Red fine pottery, with dark red paint.
Condition: Tip of "beak" missing.
This item is not on view
Fragment of Figurine of Woman, ca. 3650-3300 B.C.E. Clay, pigment, 2 1/16 x 1 15/16 x 11/16 in. (5.2 x 4.9 x 1.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.516. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.07.447.516_fertilegoddess.jpg)
installation, Fertile Goddess Installation (2008-2009), CUR.07.447.516_fertilegoddess.jpg
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