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Statuette of a Man

Place of production Abydos (?), Egypt
Date 18–17th century B.C.
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique Basalt or dolerit

12.3 x 5.3 x 5.4 cm

Inventory number 51.330
Collection Egyptian Art
On view Museum of Fine Arts, Basement Floor, Ancient Egypt, Daily life

With its heavy-lidded eyes, ill-proportioned body, high-waisted long kilt, this statuette shows characteristics of sculptures during the late Middle Kingdom. This period saw a significant change in the practice of producing and setting up statues. While in earlier times sculptures were only commissioned by and for the elites, in the second half of the Middle Kingdom statues were also set up in sacred areas near certain temples or placed in tombs by persons of lower social status. These objects ensured their owners to receive the cult of the gods worshipped in the sacred precincts and the offerings presented to them. A major cult center of the period was Abydos, the town of Osiris from where our statuette may also come. The particularity of the piece is that it was damaged during its carving but the sculpture made an effort to repair it. The right side of the pedestal under the feet broke down thus he had to narrow its width. As a result, he did not have enough space to sculpt the right foot which thus was carved in a defective way making the figure appear crippled.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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