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Royal Head

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
In Egyptian art, one symbol could represent both a trait and its opposite. The hippopotamus could represent great danger and chaos or, alternatively, fertility and protection in childbirth. The statuette of a male hippopotamus could represent the god Seth, who embodied danger, chaos, and disorder in the world. Yet the rare limestone statuette of hippopotami mating perhaps served as a symbol that preserved the fertility of the earth. And a necklace consisting of images of the female hippopotamus goddess Taweret could protect a woman in labor.
MEDIUM Limestone, pigment
  • Possible Place Collected: Tell el-Amarna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1352-1332 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom, Amarna Period
    DIMENSIONS 1 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 7/16 in. (4.5 x 5.2 x 6.2 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Amarna Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 86.226.20
    CREDIT LINE Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Royal Head, ca. 1352-1332 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 1 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 7/16 in. (4.5 x 5.2 x 6.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.226.20. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.86.226.20_wwg7.jpg)
    IMAGE installation, West Wing gallery 7 installation, CUR.86.226.20_wwg7.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fragment of lower part of royal head in white, now somewhat discolored limestone. Preserved are the right cheek, part of the right ear, the right eye, root of the nose, mouth and chin, a small part of the left eye and ear, the left cheek, part of the neck, and the lower right rear edge of the crown. Some traces of red and, in the corners of the eyes, black paint are still adhering. Condition: Fragmentary; slight pitting on left cheek; discoloration on right cheek.
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     <em>Royal Head</em>, ca. 1352-1332 B.C.E. Limestone, pigment, 1 3/4 x 2 1/16 x 2 7/16 in. (4.5 x 5.2 x 6.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Ernest Erickson Foundation, Inc., 86.226.20. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.86.226.20_wwg7.jpg)

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