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Statuette of a Female Acrobat

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Funerary Gallery 3, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
By placing a sculpture of an acrobat in his tomb, Sa-Inher declared that he had sufficient wealth to enjoy such diversions throughout eternity. This acrobat is portrayed performing a backbend. The figure’s head was missing when the tomb was excavated; most likely it was broken by grave robbers. The red lines on the woman’s body represent a network of beads or body paint.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Place Excavated: Tomb D303, Abydos, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1938–1630 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 12 to early Dynasty 13
    PERIOD Middle Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 4 × 2 × 7 in. (10.2 × 5.1 × 17.8 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone statuette, in the round, of nude female dancer performing a funerary dance (the Khetebt). Body bent backward. Face up, with hair touching base, body supported by arms which rest on oblong uninscribed base. Traces of red paint on body. Condition: Entire head missing from top of neck to lower part of hair. Body has been assembled and there are minor chips on arms. Red lines on body apparently indicate a bead network. Traces of black paint at base of hair indicate that it was painted black.
    CAPTION Statuette of a Female Acrobat, ca. 1938–1630 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 4 × 2 × 7 in. (10.2 × 5.1 × 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 13.1024. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 13.1024_profile_PS2.jpg)
    IMAGE profile, 13.1024_profile_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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