Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Figure of a Woman of Nubian Descent

Middle Kingdom–Early New Kingdom
Dynasty 11
ca. 2030–1981 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Deir el-Bahri, Tomb MMA 511, MMA excavations, 1921–23
Wood, paint
H. 18 cm (7 1/16 in.); W. 4.5 cm (1 3/4 in.); D. 3 cm (1 3/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1926
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 109
This dark-skinned young woman wears a brightly patterned skirt, a necklace, anklets, and a fillet around her head. She probably represents an attendant of one of the Hathor priestesses and royal wives at the court of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II. Remains of two similar figures were also found, and the three may have originally stood on a common base symbolically clapping their hands at a festival or the funeral of a higher-status woman.
Museum excavations, 1922-23. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1923. Brought to New York and accessioned by the Museum, 1926.

Hayes, William C. 1953. Scepter of Egypt I: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Part I: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 220, fig. 136.

Arnold, Dorothea 2015. "Figure of a Woman of Nubian Descent." In Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom, edited by Adela Oppenheim, Dorothea Arnold, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 173–74, no. 109.

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