Bone figure



Accession Number
AR50/3490
Current Location
House of Life (first floor), Games case
Object Types
Sculpture, Statue | Implements and utensils, Toy, Doll
Period
Islamic Period
Material
Animal products (Bone)
Provenance
Egypt, Armant
Measurements
Height: 59mm | Width: 14mm | Depth: 10mm
Number of Elements
1
Culture
Egyptian

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Description

An articulated bone figurine from Armant from a 1930s excavation of a nude female figure. There are holes for jointed arms (missing) and pierced ears. Woolley sees these as fertility amulets and linked to the shape of the Coptic cross, whereas Shatil sees these items as toys. Such figures are always female and the pubic area and breasts are always shown. Such items are usually found in large urban centres and dated to the Eighth to Tenth centuries AD. A similar example to AR50/3490 is published in Winterhalter, S., and Brodbeck, A., 2001, 'Antikemmuseum. Basel un Sammlung Ludwig. Die Agutishche Abteilung', pp. 226-7.

Bibliography

Metropolitan Museum of Art 21.6.106. M.-H. Rutschowskaya (Ed.) 2000 "L’art copte en Ègypte – 2000 ans de christianisme", p. 217. Shatil, A. 2016 Bone figurines of the Early Islamic period: the so called “Coptic dolls” from Palestine and Egypt. In Vitezovic, S. (ed.), 'Close to the Bone, Early Studies in Bone Technologies', pp. 296-314. Winterhalter, S., and Brodbeck, A., 2001, 'Antikemmuseum. Basel un Sammlung Ludwig. Die Agutishche Abteilung', pp. 226-7. Woolley, C. L. 1907. Coptic Bone Figures in 'Society of Biblical Archaeology Proceedings', Vol XXIX. 218-220 plus 3 plates.

Last modified: 12 Jun 2022

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