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Female Figurine with a Child (Fertility Figurine)

Date 1550–1295 B.C.
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique Terracotta

15 x 5.5 cm (5 7/8 x 2 3/16 in.)

Inventory number 98.2-E
Collection Egyptian Art
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Basement Floor, Ancient Egypt, Daily life

The clay and limestone sculptures represent a well-defined group of female figurines, each depicting a nude woman lying on a model bed or couch. This type appears to have been introduced during the late Eighteenth Dynasty and continued to be used until the Late Period. The clay figurine is of rather crude craftsmanship. It was made in an open mold; the ends and the sides are thus rounded, and the back of the figure is convex. The woman is accompanied here by a diminutive figure of a child, lying on the right side of his mother. The fingers of the mother gently touch his upraised left hand. Both figures are portrayed naked with slender bodies and elongated limbs.
According to the prevailing theory, these objects should be termed as votive fertility figurines that may have been deposited not only in tombs but in domestic shrines and in temples of Hathor, with the purpose of promoting successful conception and rearing of children.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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