Figure of a woman

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Death (ground floor), Domestic piety case
Object Type
Religious or cult object
New Kingdom
Height: 90mm
Number of Elements

This image may be used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. For uses not covered under the Creative Commons license, or to license images for commercial uses, please contact the Egypt Centre.


The thin shape of this figure, and the fact that the woman wears a perfume cone suggests that the item dates to the New Kingdom. Initially, these figures tended to be called 'concubine figures' with their purpose being to provide a sexual partner for the dead man (e.g. Petrie 1927, 9) However, as Pinch (1983) has pointed out such figures occur in female burials, in temples and in houses. Such figurines have also been interpreted as dancing girls, and some seem to have been votive offerings to Hathor. Hathor is associated with fertility and the nude nature of the figurines, together with the heavy wigs depicted on a number of them, and the fact that they are shown on beds may also suggest fertility.