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Miniature Bust

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor

Found in both houses and funerary chapels, busts such as this one were a focus for ancestor worship during the New Kingdom. Just as unhappy ghosts represented a threat to the living, one's relatives among the glorified dead who had been transformed into beings known as akhs could help with earthly problems and act as intermediaries to the powers on the "other side." Indeed, people even wrote messages to deceased relatives requesting aid in connection with a multitude of problems in their daily lives.

  • Possible Place Made: Thebes (Deir el-Medina), Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1336–1327 B.C.E., ca. 1327–1323 B.C.E., or ca. 1323–1295 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY late Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 3 1/16 x 2 1/16 in. (7.8 x 5.3 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden bust of a man, "ancestral bust" type. Amarna-type with slanting eyes, prominent ears with pierced lobes. Close-fitting cap. Body entirely conventionalized with no details indicated.
    CAPTION Miniature Bust, ca. 1336–1327 B.C.E., ca. 1327–1323 B.C.E., or ca. 1323–1295 B.C.E. Wood, 3 1/16 x 2 1/16 in. (7.8 x 5.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 53.246. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 53.246_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 53.246_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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